Jenn Cole is a ceramic artist and curator from Lancaster, Ohio. She graduated from Ohio University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics, in 2012. Following graduation, Jenn pursued residencies at the Iowa Ceramics Center and Glass Studio in Iowa, The Appalachian Center for Craft in Tennessee, and the Red Lodge Clay Center in Montana. Jenn has exhibited her pottery and curated shows in galleries across the country, and has worked as the Gallery Manager at The Appalachian Center for Craft. Most recently, she has worked as the Curator of Exhibitions and Gallery Coordinator for the Red Lodge Clay Center in Red Lodge, MT. Jenn currently lives in Cookeville, TN, where she works as a full-time potter.
I believe that connections between people are best facilitated over a good meal using objects designed to beautify everyday rituals. I am interested in familial connections and creating dialogue between past and present through the catalyst of handmade pottery, specifically dinnerware. I am inspired by a quilt meticulously crafted by my great grandmother, finished by my grandmother and stories of the past, stories about my relatives and how their history shapes my own. I believe memory is preserved through the tactile experience and archival process. A handmade quilt acts as a representation of family and shows the wear and tear of everyday life. I use clay as my vehicle of making because as a material, it acts as retention of memory in a similar manner, remembering and preserving every detail throughout the making process.
My imagery is reminiscent of vintage dresses from the 1940’s, antique wall paper, and scraps of old fabrics; all of which create an internal dialogue for me that I hope evokes a sense of nostalgia for my viewer. My most recent imagery comes from the idea of blurriness and faded memories. For me, watercolor painting has a softness and fluidity itself to bleeding, blurring, and distortion that feels like memories from long ago.