Jill Lawley received an M.F.A. in ceramics from Utah State University in 2005, and has taught ceramics and art history at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls, the University of Iowa, Boise State University, the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and Utah State University. She founded Boise Mudworks in Boise’s East End neighborhood in 2009. Her work is available at Idaho Made in downtown Boise.
I make utilitarian and sculptural ceramics that are visual records of my construction methods utilizing both the potters’ wheel and handbuilding. The resulting vessels are a framework from which I like to explore human scale tactility and the visible construction process embedded in a piece. In my east Boise studio I work with white stoneware, bright underglazes, glazes and decals. I fire all the work in my electric kiln to cone 5 (about 2200 degrees Fahrenheit). While in the studio I think a lot about the tactile but impersonal objects I interact with on a daily basis—such my phone or the steering wheel of my car—and I think about what I’m creating through the experience of the hands that will eventually use a piece. The contour lines carved in the surface of many of my pieces represent the location of our human patterns and paths as we move on the earth, and also can provide an interesting surface on a piece where the fingers can subconsciously explore texture. Some of the contour line carved pieces also feature designs of my original fired on decals. In some sculptural series, when stacked together an object appears as a vase/chimney form, but each segment is actually moveable. Therefore the tactility I enjoy is present even in sculptural works, as the viewer is also invited to become the arranger of the piece.”