Mixed media artist Janice Jakielski makes objects that are sometimes wearable, often interwoven with nature, and always fascinating in their exploration of ideas and materials.
Here, she shares the interplay between her work spaces and her exploratory creative process.
Ten different studio spaces over eight years spanning two countries and seven states – this was my reality until three years ago, when a job transfer to Massachusetts brought my peripatetic lifestyle to an end. My husband and I fell in love with a mid-century modern fixer upper in Sutton, MA. A concrete and glass cube, nestled in a forest with plenty of square footage for studio space.
I am a homebody by nature and love having a combined living and studio space. There are just enough delightful distractions to break up the day, from wrestling with the dogs, peeking into the beehives to searching for the elusive spring orchids out in the woods.
As a mixed media artist, my work spaces are divided by process. I cycle through these spaces as I cycle through my work.
Everything starts in the ceramic laboratory where my Ceramic Engineer husband and I create and invent new materials. Here we keep our ceramic processing equipment: tape caster, roller mill, vacuum pump, kilns, etc. By mixing my own ceramic materials I have complete control over my process, and I love having the ability to step into the lab to replenish my stock or mix a new color of porcelain paper.
My “clean” studio is upstairs. Here is where I do my assembling, cutting, sewing, etc., the bulk of my time is spent in this space. Then back down to the lab for firing and finally to our small but adequate woodshop for shelf, armature or crate building.
When starting a new body of work my spaces are organized, clean: a blank slate. As I actualize my pieces I leave a trail of chaos, evidence of frenzied making. I love letting the chaos build until every surface is covered and I can’t stand it any longer. Cleaning the studio after finishing an install feels like part of the ritual of making. It gives me time to reflect upon the finished pieces, mentally deconstruct my steps and begin a process of self-critique. This reflection sets the stage for my next round of making.
I have recently returned to my love of ceramic chemistry and have begun collaborating with my husband to re-invent industrial ceramic materials for application in the artist studio. My latest exploration of deconstructed and quilled porcelain vessels are created using strips of extremely thin, tape casted porcelain. Tape casting is a casting process used to make ceramic sheets traditionally used in the micro-electronics industry, solid oxide fuel cells and piezoelectric devices. I am in love with the challenge of adapting these industrial processes and am blown away by the potential that these new materials bring to my studio.
Janice Jakielski‘s work will be featured in the soon-to-be-released book Cast: Art and Objects Made Using Humanity’s Most Transformational Process. She has solo exhibition upcoming at the Foster Gallery in Dedham (Fall of 2017) and Gallery 5 at Emmanuel College (Winter 2018).
Images: all images courtesy of the artist.