“We are most human when we are purchasing something someone else has made.” — Andy Crouch
So excited to pick back up our M A K E R S S E R I E S today with Jennifer from JUNO. Over the last few years, I started collecting Jennifer’s pottery as I was initially drawn to her warm hues and earthy textures. Personally I love learning about other people’s creative processes, especially women and now even more specifically: mothers.I enjoyed learning more about Jennifer and how she found her way to pottery through motherhood. I will definitely look at her work in our home differently now, with even more admiration for the maker behind the pieces I’ve grown to love. (You know those awesome bells hanging in our living room? Yup- she made those!) Continue reading to hear more about where Jennifer calls home, how JUNO came to be, nd how she juggles work + mom life.
Where do you call home? I live in an old farmhouse with my husband and three children in Asheville, North Carolina, in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of Appalachia.
How did you find your way to working with ceramics?
Pottery has always been an interest of mine. I often collected vintage pottery in highschool and college and always dreamed of someday learning the craft. Right before my oldest son was born in California, I finally took my first class and felt a familiar connection. But I quickly found myself immersed in the creative adventures of motherhood! When my third child started attending school, I began taking more classes and JUNO pottery was born! (my fourth child in a way)
Pottery feels very familiar and I can’t imagine doing something else at this point in my life.
As the contemplative writer Thomas Merton wrote, “art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” Ceramics has been this way for me because it came into my life when my kids were entering school and I was in need of finding myself again.
What does a typical day look like for you?
I am lucky to have a studio space connected to my home. This allows me the flexibility to hop in and out of work in the midst of family life. In between the car line and meal prep, I work in a focused and intentional way, trying to utilize every moment I have in the studio to dream up and make the pots that are ordered each month. I am always surprised and humbled that these purchases seem to regularly flow in and allow me to keep working in this medium.
Why do you feel it’s important to support local makers and creators?
In his book, Culture Making, Andy Crouch points out that “we are most human when we are purchasing something someone else has made.”
So, perhaps the closer we are to where something is made, the more we can appreciate and value that object. I believe supporting local makers and creators has a way of connecting us to the place we live, our communities and our environment.
What has drawn you to the earth tones featured in your work?
Clay is so beautiful and varied in its scope of texture and hue depending on its origin. The clay itself has a voice in my pottery. My personal aesthetic has always been very simple and spare (jeans and t-shirts most of the time!) and so my work reflects this as well. But I do love a colorfully glazed and patterned pot and have a few I’ve collected over the years from my favorite potters.
Sometimes I like to imagine one of my carved bowls or vases returning back to the earth from which it was made, to be uncovered and excavated by someone in another time.
What’s one of your favorite pieces that you’ve created and why?
My favorite pots tend to hold practical function. My current favorite pieces are the camp cup and the mixing bowl set, but the berry bowl will get the most use this summer!
When you’re not creating pottery, where are you?
When I’m not in the studio I’m likely in the kitchen, hiking or camping with my family, at my son’s soccer game or daughter’s riding lesson. My life is very full, but I am trying to learn the balance of growing a fulfilling business while remaining present to my family in the day to day.
Where would your time machine go and why?
This is a great question, but really hard to answer! My personality is wired to reflect on the past constantly, so I think I would likely choose to go back in time if given the opportunity. I would choose my parents’ or my grandparents’ childhoods and simply observe them from afar. I would love to connect and piece together, like a puzzle, their unique personalities even as children, to those of my own kids.
*Follow along with Jennifer on instagram at @junopottery. *Thank you to Jennifer for sharing photos of your studio with us.