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Artist Statement:  I am an artist, a story teller, a problem solver. ...I collect old tools, toys, wood, hardware pieces and scrap metal pieces. that I use in my work varies. I frequent yard and estate sales, dumpster diving in allies, and have been known to come to a screeching halt on the interstate to retrieve a discarded piece of metal "potential". Clay and metal .. the fragile quality of one,  and unbreakable quality of the other creates a visual juxtaposition  and construction challenge. I also am interested in  way people respond to of everyday objects when they are not to the scale or size that we are accustomed to .

I am a maker, a collector, a storyteller. I am a potter, a sculptor, an assembler. I am intrigued by the relational experiences between people and their environment. My work is driven by the need to find simplicity and inspiration in the world around me, and is a reflection of my own personal experiences, thoughts, and emotional response to circumstance. I am fascinated by texture. Urban and environmental textures that are so common, when presented to the viewer at eye level, it becomes apparent how much is missed when we busy ourselves with mindless routine.  Manhole covers, the soles of my children’s shoes, the tread on a car tire, the bark on the trees , the grungy type on industrial machinery. By using these elements in my designs, I tell the story of where I am, where I’ve been, and where I’m going. By presenting common objects as my subject matter, I hope to inspire connection. To spark a memory. To hear a story. To urge a reflection and stillness that is not easily executed in today’s world.

My work is hand built using high fire stoneware clay, and is fired in a kiln multiple times using slips, stains and glazes on highly textured surfaces. Several years ago, I transitioned from making/selling very large clay and metal sculptural pieces, to a body of work for the wall. I learned two things about myself…(well that’s not true.. it was terrifying) A 3-D approach to creating is inevitable, as is my desire to create work that is really BIG. By permanently attaching a 16 gauge steel wire to the back of each individual ceramic piece and installing them directly into and varying degrees away from the wall , I am able to integrate depth and space into my wall installation pieces. The use of repetition, light, shadows, and space in my designs, allows for movement in a art piece that ultimately blurs the lines between 2-D and 3-D. I love the challenge that comes from working with a medium that has its own defined boundaries, yet the vastness of its creative possibilities is limited only by my imagination.

Jenifer grew up on a farm in the foothills of the North Georgia Mountains, where rusty barbed wire and red clay were a pleasing combination early on.     She has a BFA in Ceramics from Georgia Southern University and began selling her work on the fine art show circuit after graduating over 20 years ago. She has owned ceramic studios and taught clay classes, workshops, and artist in residencies in Atlanta, Richmond VA, and Chicago.

Jenifer travels across the country selling her work at some of the most prestigious juried arts festivals in the US. In 2018, she was selected as an artist to participate in the Coconut Grove Arts Festival (Miami, FL), Ann Arbor Street Fair-the Original (Ann Arbor, MI), Cherry Creek Arts Festival (Denver, CO), St. Louis Art Festival (St. Louis, MO), among many others. Jenifer recently moved from Chicago back to her home town in Rome, GA, where she shares her studio with 3 cats and 2 dogs…and her 3 children who occasionally wander in.

©2019 Jenifer Thoem