Anonymous asked: im in love with your artwork and your potters, and i was wondering if you would consider making coffee mugs for your easy shop?
Thank you for your kind words and for your interest in my work. I was actually thinking about this lately. Is this something that you’re really interested in? If so, I can create a custom pot for you.
GOLDEN BOY PRESS Interview #139
With her fantastic new Renaissance series, we spoke to Leah Jensen about her 3D art, and the skill that goes behind it. We learn about some details behind the pieces, as well as what she prefers to listen to when working. We discover her thoughts on the absence of color. Enjoy!
Could you introduce yourself?
Hi, I’m Leah from Cornwall. I make things from wood and clay.
What started it all? What began your exploration of the 3D form?
I’ve been creating for as long as I can remember, it’s just what my family does. My grandpa was a wood carver, my grandma was a painter, my aunty is a ceramicist and works with glass, my mum does textiles. The list goes on and on…
Do you feel 3D forms express yourself more so than anything else?
It does, but not exclusively, I love drawing and painting too. There is something so therapeutic about doodling, also automatic writing and drawing fascinates me. One of the main reasons I enjoy drawing so much is that people rarely see what I create, so I have complete freedom to do whatever I want. I don’t have any concerns about it offending people or if people will appreciate it because it’s purely for my enjoyment. It’s great to do something completely different in a completely different style to my other work.
What’s your opinion on the absence of color? Since that seems to be a consistent theme in your work.
Throughout my life I have gone through colour phases, for the last 5 or so years I have been strongly drawn to monochrome. I’ve tried to introduce colour but really felt it just didn’t work. Black and white are completely contrasting colours, and by bringing them together, the aim is that they will highlight each other and show off the beauty of the materials. Contrast is very important in my work, in colour, texture and even the processes. Working with clay is one of the most relaxing things I can do, which is completely different to working on a wood lathe, which I find exhausting and often leaves me with cuts and bruises.
How does your process usually unfold, when creating a new sculpture?
It’s always different. I have a sketchbook with me at all times and I get ideas from everywhere - blogs, magazines, architecture, and even dreams. Sometimes I will do mountains of research and copious amounts of drawing. Other times I will just get a block of clay and get on with it. It’s interesting to see the different results that come from completely different approaches.
Where do you work on your art? Could you describe your work space?
Well at the moment I don’t really have somewhere to call home, so I work wherever I can find the space, as long as it has good light.
Do you prefer silence or noise when creating?
I never work in silence. Music is a huge part of my life, and I love that my work gives me an excuse to sit and listen all day. At the moment I mostly listen to the local bands from Falmouth. I’m a huge documentary fan too. The ceramic component of each of my vessels takes around 40 hours to carve, so that’s a lot of documentaries, I’m finding it harder and harder to find new ones to watch.
Could you tell our readers the inspiration behind your renaissance series?
I wanted to find a way of the patterns being dictated to me, I didn’t want to think about what the pattern looked like, I just wanted to concentrate on making it as clean and perfect as possible. I originally had the idea of pinning leaves to the clay to make patterns, but it didn’t work so I began to use images. I have been fascinated with renaissance painting for years, so I jumped at the chance to spend time examining them; the planning and maths that are behind the paintings are what I focused on in my research. I liked that there was a hidden structure that you couldn’t see, which is what I created in the carved patterns.
Where do you see yourself in a year from now?
I’m moving to London soon, but other than that I have no idea. Having just graduated, this is the first time in my life where I have no plans or idea on what’s going to happen next, and I find that quite refreshing
What makes you happy?
Pretty standard stuff - music, art, nature, relationships and making things of course.
Any closing comments?
Thank you very much!
Interview with Leah Jensen, awesome ceramicist.