W. Jeffrey Jones' Artist Statement

To one culture - perhaps ancient - the creation of an object using the dust of the earth mixed with water, coated with ashes, and fused with fire appears magical - mysterious enough to provoke imaginings of gods and demons at work. In our contemporary western culture, an activity such as the forming and firing of a clay object is commonplace, perfectly explainable, and indeed, perhaps a bit primitive by comparison to many of our other technologies. The mystique, for me, lies in the idea and its execution with nothing more than simple tools in human hands and a brain.

As I develop an idea - whether a sketch, maquette, or diving in directly - I allow some stream of consciousness activity to flesh out that idea with various elements that can potentially evolve into a narrative. Sometimes Iím telling an intentional story and sometimes Iím assembling imagery that heads off in a general direction, but allows the viewer to develop a story for themselves. The Symbolists frustrated many people by requiring the viewer to possess specific knowledge of the symbolic language they incorporated into their work. I, on the other hand, provide pieces of a puzzle that can be assembled in a variety of ways, depending entirely on the viewerís own knowledge and experience.

Technique also plays an important role in the body of my work. Just as a violinist pursues the development of her skills and ability to express her music, just as a jazz musician practices constantly to build his or her chops, that is how I approach the development of my abilities and the evolution of my portfolio in pursuit of excellence. I work passionately to continuously improve my ability to communicate ideas. I'm twice the artist I was, but not half the artist I strive to be.

After so much experience with such a wide variety of media, my current work is again focused on the medium with which I'm most comfortable: fired clay. My subject matter is also one with which I'm most comfortable: the human figure. One could perhaps consider the human figure a vessel. The vessel is something I hold in high regard and the bases of my sculptures are an homage within themselves to my life-long love affair with the clay vessel.

All images copyright W. Jeffrey Jones