Peter Jadoonath’s textured pots are formed by squeezing, paddling, pinching, coiling, smashing, polishing and carving clay. “I find inspiration from scientific mystery, unexplained history, small complex ideas and large simple ideas,” he states. “Through my craft it is important for me to honor timelessness, tradition, ancestors and predecessors. I strive for this by following my intuition, seeking self-realization, working hard and gathering the patience to take risks … The pots I make are functional, they are meant to hold objects and ideas. The pottery shapes are loose, broad, open to suggestion, and open to interpretation.”
The potter holds a BFA from Bemidji State University. In 2000, established a studio in St. Paul’s historic Lowertown district. He is the recipient of both a Jerome Artists Grant and a Minnesota State Arts Board Grant. “Minnesota has a thick, dense, woven history of pottery and the groundwork has been laid by all our predecessors which I am very thankful for,” states Peter. “I believe in the Midwestern tradition and the esthetic evolving from it … I continue to make pots, experiment, and learn from my regional arts community.”
Peter’s statement on process:
I stumbled onto pottery at Bemidji State University in 1996, without any thoughts that this many years later I would still be pushing clay around. I suppose most people who end up having a practice for a lifetime do not look that far ahead in the very beginning. The joy of the practice is being in the present and enjoying the immediate response. Currently I live in St. Paul and make pots in the basement. I regularly sell pots through regional studio tours, galleries and art fairs.
I focus on making functional stoneware pottery. I pay close attention to texture, gesture, and balance. I was always into drawing and doodling before I ever touched clay, so it is very natural for me to incise, impress, and carve designs into the pottery shapes. I use texture as a graphic device, and to develop composition. Sometimes it’s a bit much, but I guess that’s just part of the process of pushing out new ideas. Most of the pots start out wheel thrown, then some of them get pushed around. I use techniques such a folding, carving, smashing, and cutting to alter the shapes and surfaces of the pots.
It is also very important for me to carefully mind the ergonomic aspects of the pottery shapes. Proper-fitting lids, sharp spouts, comfortable rims, and soft handles are examples of the quality I pursue in my craft. I glaze pots with iron rich washes, clay slips, and soft matte glazes. It is important that the glaze skin and the pottery forms bond to make a unified three-dimensional statement. All of the pots I make are fired to 2350 degrees Farenheit. It is very important that the pots are sturdy, dependable, and provoke a sense of ease.