Jim Whalen, Potter

Jim Whalen – Potter at Paradox Pottery in Horse Shoe, North Carolina – creates wheel thrown, burnished pots, coated with terra sigillata and fired in a two-stage process. Salt, sawdust and the iron in the clay yield patterns and chaos representing the forces of nature with the forms of the subconscious.

Jim Whalen

My pots are wheel thrown, burnished and coated with terra sigillata. After bisque firing patterns and images are created with wax resist. The pots then go through a two stage firing process; the first is a low temperature salt firing, the second a sawdust firing.

Both of these firings produce random chaotic markings on the surface of each pot. The wax resist separates the effects caused by each process into distinct areas giving definition to the patterns without losing the vitality of chaos. The patterns come from the subconscious.

The pots represent my desire to unite the forces of nature with the forms of the subconscious,exploring and expressing the connection between the two. Salt, sawdust and the iron in the clay produce the variety of earth tones on the smooth surface of the pots. The surface of the pot is reminiscent of polished wood or stone.

The simple rounded form combined with the dynamic surface elements results in a work of art that is universal and timeless.