Janice Jakielski

Artist Statement

As a child I had a large round mirror on the wall of my bedroom. I used to take it down and hold it at my waist, walking around the house looking into the reflection, stepping high over the doorframes, marveling at how different my familiar landscape had become.

At the age of fifteen I decided to become a potter, at the age of twenty-two a glass blower, twenty-seven a textile artist, and on it goes. I gather skills and material knowledge as an obsession, perfecting craftsmanship and blending processes as my practice evolves and grows.

I create objects of comfort; escapist objects to provide focus or retreat in an overwhelming world.  Through the use of meticulous detail and ambiguous function I coax my audience to investigate closer, closing the physical gap between viewer and object.  In this way I want the details of my workmanship to act as a whisper, flirtatiously seductive in its discretion.

The forms that I choose are drawn from historic ceramic sources. I have come full circle back to the objects that originally inspired me as a young potter. Through the lens of lived experience, digital processes and industrial materials I playfully dissect and re-invent these recognizable historic objects. The humor is subtle but present in this work, a melding of new and old, a disruption of the familiar.

Most recently I have been expanding and challenging the notion of what is clay. Taking cues from industry I have begun adapting and inventing new ways for working with this most ancient material. From tape casting to foaming to gelling my time in the laboratory is truly experimental, each new discovery brings a wave of possibilities and excitement.

-- Janice Jakielski


Janice Jakielski is a maker, a beekeeper, a builder of all things. From a young age growing up in rural Pennsylvania she was taught to use her hands to change the world. From hanging drywall with her father, embroidering with her grandmother, to building creative traps for her many siblings Jakielski’s childhood set the foundation for a love of all materials and the magical transformations that they could undergo.

Jakielski received her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Colorado, Boulder and a BFA from NYSCC at Alfred University. She has presented exhibitions both nationally and internationally, and participated in numerous residency programs across the country including the Archie Bray Foundation, Millay Colony for the Arts and Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Most recently she was awarded one of three New England Craft Artist Awards through the Society of Arts and Crafts in Boston. She currently teaches at Massachusetts College of Art and Design and has a studio and laboratory in Sutton, MA.