Scott Jelich

Artist Statement

The forming, shaping and cutting on the potter’s wheel tends to be a discipline in repetition and consistency. There are times when I know what each move will be from start to finish and which tool is required to do the job that my fingers cannot. There are also instances where my studio practice is less regimented. It is more like a song or dance; structured, but with notes of improvisation. Choices and moves occur throughout the making process in response to the material and how the material responds to my touch.

When throwing on the wheel I shape the work with my hands, starting from the inside out. Swelling the form, wider and wider, I push the limits of the material. Creating a covered jar, looking for the curve of the profile and where the weight sits in the shape is how I begin to investigate volume, visual weight, and what it communicates. Variations in form and profile are intriguing and cause me to question how it can give reference to the things I discover outside of the studio. Thick slip atop of the hand thrown surface adds depth, texture and variation under the glaze. Marks left on the surface may be different depending on my touch, the tool I use or speed at which the wheel is turning. I create each pot to be a contemplative piece, to exist as both a functional object as well as poetic narrative to convey a sense of time, volume, and structure.

I have recently moved from Alaska to Montana and New York, and now back to Alaska. Travelling across the country I observed the scenery change dramatically from place to place. The winter hues of Western New York are much different than that of my Alaskan home. In New York I found myself wishing for the vibrantly soft colors of the alpenglow that I was not seeing in the east. It took me some time to familiarize myself with this new foreign place. The dark purples and grays of the leafless trees, flecks of gold and yellow springing out from the snow covered cornfields; these color combinations became especially captivating during my time spent in Western New York. The various landscapes I encounter across the continent, with both their subtleties and vividness, have come to influence the colors of my glaze palette.


Scott Jelich was born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. He earned a Bachelor of Fine Art with a primary concentration in ceramics and a secondary concentration in drawing from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2012. The following year Scott attended the University of Montana as a Post baccalaureate student. In the spring of 2015 he received a Masters of Fine Arts from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University’s School of Art and Design. He is now living back in Anchorage and making work in a studio just south of the city in Bird Creek, Alaska.