Jessica Wilson ( she/her )

Artist Statement

Human beings are composed of many layers, created by life experiences. Our “human layers” can be likened to the layers of surface built up on the walls in an old home. Some layers covered and hidden, some revealed through wear, age, and time. I strive to show these “human layers” through my glazing palette. The use of heavy, cracking slip conveying a guarded layer, covering an area that was once beautiful or adorned. The two contrasting elements allow the viewer to question whether the piece is being covered or revealed; if layers are being accumulated or shed.

In May of 2014, my sister, Denise, tragically and unexpectedly passed away. For years after her death, I was consumed with grief. I found it difficult to find happiness and connect with others. During the first few months, nothing made sense. I didn’t understand how to cope with the sorrow, anger, and fear that I felt. Stuck in the grieving process, I did the only thing that made sense to me- make work. Working in clay has always been the one constant that brings me peace and gives me a sense of purpose. As I worked, I subconsciously started processing the feelings that I had about her death. This body of work I call the “Layers Series”.


Jessica Wilson, MFA-Ceramics, Rhode Island School of Design; BFA- Crafts with a Concentration in Ceramics, The University of the Arts. Jessica Wilson was born and raised in New Jersey.  Jessica spent many years in her early career as a studio technician, working at The Penland School for Crafts, The Brambleton Center, The Long Beach Island Foundation of Arts and Main Line Arts Center.  She completed residencies at both Odyssey Center for Ceramic Arts and St. Petersburg Clay Company. Jessica worked as an Adjunct Instructor of Ceramics at The State College of Florida and Eckerd College’s Program for Experienced Learners before being awarded her first full-time teaching position at Western New Mexico University located in Silver City, N.M, where she taught for four years.  She is currently Associate Professor of Ceramics at Tennessee Technological University, teaching at the satellite campus- The Appalachian Center for Craft.  She maintains an active studio practice and exhibits her work nationally. Her work explores the aspect of layers through time as we grow and develop in life, exploring to show these “human layers” through her glazing palette composed of pattern, incising and relief.