"I make hand-built earthenware vessels that draw on the quiet, minimal forms of basic function, such as basins, bread troughs and baskets. Using slab, coil and mold techniques I make a simple form, which I then smooth and scrape to articulate handles, edges, corners and rims. Surfaces emphasize the subtleties of material, process and firing as the primary decorative elements – dragged grog, finger marks, the layering of slips and terra sigillata, and the rough whites and blacks that come from reduction firing.
Smaller pieces like plates, cups, mugs and bowls are wheel-thrown, then likewise scraped and pared down in form and reduction fired. Most recently I have been pulling from my long love of textiles to add pattern and color to this smaller work." - Maggie Finlayson
Maggie Finlayson is a potter and mixed media artist originally from Ontario, Canada. After completing her undergraduate studies at Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, BC and Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary, AB she received her MFA in Ceramics from the University of Minnesota in 2013. She has participated in ceramic residency programs at the New Taipei Ceramics Musuem in New Taipei City, Taiwan, the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT, Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Snowmass, CO, and Medalta Potteries in Medicine Hat, AB. She currently lives in North Carolina where she and her husband Tom Jaszczak, are Resident Artists at Penland School of Craft.
"Form and Line drive my making. Line accents the changes in direction of rims, feet and form. These lines are physical and engage the user, but also serve to break up the pot visually. Formally my work has volume, it speaks of generosity. I respond to each form, as it is taken off the wheel or hand built, trying to be sensitive to each pots proportion, weight and gesture by working in a series. Form communicates a pots gesture; it speaks of utility, my pots reference common shapes and engage ones imagination. My pots are minimal and are rooted in the traditional Minnesota pottery I grew up admiring, I want my work to be paired down to the essentials and be truly useful. This brings emphasis on the fundamentals of pots. Interiors contain visual depth and are continuous with no obstructions for easy use. Exteriors are a place to make more physical statements.
The cumulative journey of a pot tells a story and the story brings the user into the moment of making and firing. Slips, trimming lines, finger marks, edges, wad marks and shadows capture a moment in time and tell more of the story. I want my pots to be grounded in form and have an identity as a material. The combination of slips and clays I use try to capture the potential of every firing. The array of colors and effects is exciting; opening a kiln is an adventure. I react to every firing with new ideas and new information; this keeps the overall process fresh and exciting. A successful pot has depth through these processes, obtains humbleness through form and thoughtfulness in function." - Tom Jaszczak
Originally from Minnesota, Tom received a BA in Visual Art and a BS in Biology with a minor in Chemistry from Bemidji State University. Tom was an assistant to both Simon Levin and Tara Wilson. He was a summer resident and a long-term resident at the Archie Bray Foundation. In the fall of 2015 Tom began a 3 year residency with his wife Maggie Finlayson at Penland School of Crafts. Tom has received several awards and honors including, a Jerome Projects Grant, Emerging Artist Award at NCECA and Ceramics Monthly, Lincoln and Lil Street Fellowships through the Archie Bray Foundation and in the summer 2014 Tom was an Honored Maker at the Maker’s Faire at the White House in Washington D.C. Tom exhibits his work at several galleries around the nation, this includes exhibitions at the Holter Museum of Art, Greenwich House Pottery, Trax Gallery, The Pottery Show at the Old Church, Northern Clay Center and Leedy Voulkos Art Center.