Through the lens of functional pottery, I focus on questions about our relationship with objects. I explore the concept of humanity’s authority over landscape and record of construction as a form of time materialized. The geographical layered strata of each vessel represent fragments or glimpses into the density of every assemblage. With the intersections and overlaps, I contemplate the dynamic relationship between materiality and landscape and our attempt to utilize it. Each vessel is made using clay that is colored to reference vibrant natural tones found in the wilderness. My work has a desire to cultivate order and my pots are designed to manicure domestic space.
Focusing on the fluidity of process and materials as remnants of making, I work with a limited number of tools and movements to allow the clay to actively inform the line quality and elegant volume. Relying heavily on the physicality of the technique I generously push and pull these lines to develop an undulation that resembles natural rhythms. The harmony of repetition comes through meditation of movement. The presence of process in the work is essential as my forms are searching for confidence in their construction. The conversation between the stained clay and glaze, obscuring or revealing, explores a didactic look at color as body and color as skin.
The evolution of my work emanates from a methodical organizing of obsession, while simultaneously altering certain compulsions to create a personally transformative experience. The liberation and cohesion of clay and hand, breath and volume, tether to a material reality becoming increasingly endangered. One ambition in my process is to capture the ephemeral beauty of wet clay. Embracing the cracks and the smears frozen by the firing can project an immediate sense of the material at the moment of inception.
-- Justin Donofrio
Justin Donofrio grew up in Santa Cruz, CA where he was introduced to pottery at Cabrillo Community College. He then joined the vibrant Colorado community of artist in 2013 in the Roaring Fork Valley where he continued his clay education with the support of Anderson Ranch, The Carbondale Clay Center and The Studio for Arts and Works (SAW). He remained in Colorado to complete a B.F.A. from CSU Fort Collins in 2016. He is nationally represented in galleries throughout the U.S. Donofrio has been a Windgate Summer Scholar at the Archie Bray Foundation and resident at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts. He has been an exhibiting artist and tour co-manager with the Artstream Nomadic Gallery, in addition to being selected as one of Ceramics Monthly’s 2018 Emerging Artists.
He currently maintains a full-time studio pottery at Art 342 in Fort Collins. The diversity of the front range of the Rockies lends itself to a balance between his love of rock climbing, the outdoors and the arts. His palette of color and form are drawn from the exquisite and enduring beauty of the alpine landscape.