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June 22 - Artist Talk and Demonstration 

This half day workshop will be lead by JD Jorgenson. He will give a artist talk on his work and a throwing demonstration on his Japanese/Korean style kickwheel. The event will be from 1 pm - 4 pm. This workshop is free and open to the public. Please register for this event to reserve a spot.

Artist biography and statement:

I originally grew up in Bismarck, ND. I now live in Kimball, MN, where my wife, Megan and I operate Maine Prairie Studio. At our home ceramics studio, we make work, teach a variety of clay classes, workshops and host other community events. 

I have thirty years of experience in ceramics as a ceramic artist. Out of those thirty years I have been a teaching artist for eighteen years at my studio and other fine arts centers across Minnesota. I received a BA from the University of Iowa in 1999 and  apprenticed with Richard Bresnahan, at the Saint John’s Pottery from 2002 - 2004. I have taught ceramics classes and workshops at a number of art centers including, Northern Clay Center, Paramount Center for the Arts, White Bear Center for the Arts and the Grand Marais Art Colony. Currently, I am a potter and teaching artist at Maine Prairie Studio, a ceramics studio and gallery I operate with my wife, ceramic artist, Megan Jorgenson. Together, we have a working studio on our property with multiple kilns including two wood burning kilns. We also recently established a community ceramics studio in downtown Kimball which houses a gallery and accommodates community pottery classes and open studio space for artists.

I received a Jerome Foundation Visiting Artist Award at the Saint John’s Pottery in 2002, Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Award in 2011, and Individual Artist Awards through the Central Minnesota Arts Board.  I am currently the recipient of a 2024 Arts Education grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board where I am focusing on providing ceramic art opportunities at Maine Prairie Studio. Maine Prairie Studio is also a 2024 Project grant recipient for its, 2024 ceramic arts community workshop series as well.

My functional and sculptural work have been exhibited in galleries nationwide. I have also exhibited Internationally, at the 2nd  European Wood Fire Conference, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark in 2014. I have taught workshops focused on techniques I learned during my apprenticeship that incorporate Japanese and Korean influences. 

I deeply believe that working with wild clays cultivates relationships between the material and myself.  I strive to have a conversation with the material through minimally processing the clays.  I rely on subtle surface decoration, slips, a handful of glazes, wood and gas firing to create relationships in my work. My work is often a reflection of the source material. The true beauty is the clay itself, unglazed and raw, interacting with fire, charcoal, and atmosphere in the wood kiln.

While apprenticing at the Saint John’s Pottery I learned that using pottery daily makes these objects more valuable and appreciated through that daily ritual. I also believe the same for using wild clays and their connection to place, Using them connects me to those places. 

My voice over the years has been punctuated by the wild clays I use in my studio. Each is different and each connects me to the place where I dug them. Each has different properties and limitations. I use a variety of forming and making techniques in my practice. I often throw off a hump of clay on a Korean style kick wheel. This making approach lends to a gestural, subtle, more immediate response to the clay, which I appreciate. 

Besides using my kickwheels, I have been slip casting wild clays since 2016. Slip casting balances my making cycle with throwing. Over the years, I have made my own molds and also saved some commercial molds from the landfill.  I approach slip casting with a gestural and non-scientific lens similar to my throwing. More often than not, the clay is my voice. It carries me through the process, helping me embrace subtlety and imperfection. 

I have been using the clays I throw with as slips for surfacing and decorating. Using the same clays for casting has created organic change and growth in my work. I am drawn to slip casting and mold making because of its complexity. I have found that through using the wild clays, I have learned a lot about creating a completely different body of work. The same clay body can be used to achieve different results in the wood kilns, gas kilns, wheel thrown and slip cast. Through these processes, the clays have revealed a broad spectrum of results. It is what holds my attention and why I strive to know more and continue to practice with these materials.

 

Digging in: Artist talk and workshop by JD Jorgenson - Jun 22

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June 22 - Artist Talk and Demonstration 

This half day workshop will be lead by JD Jorgenson. He will give a artist talk on his work and a throwing demonstration on his Japanese/Korean style kickwheel. The event will be from 1 pm - 4 pm. This workshop is free and open to the public. Please register for this event to reserve a spot.

Artist biography and statement:

I originally grew up in Bismarck, ND. I now live in Kimball, MN, where my wife, Megan and I operate Maine Prairie Studio. At our home ceramics studio, we make work, teach a variety of clay classes, workshops and host other community events. 

I have thirty years of experience in ceramics as a ceramic artist. Out of those thirty years I have been a teaching artist for eighteen years at my studio and other fine arts centers across Minnesota. I received a BA from the University of Iowa in 1999 and  apprenticed with Richard Bresnahan, at the Saint John’s Pottery from 2002 - 2004. I have taught ceramics classes and workshops at a number of art centers including, Northern Clay Center, Paramount Center for the Arts, White Bear Center for the Arts and the Grand Marais Art Colony. Currently, I am a potter and teaching artist at Maine Prairie Studio, a ceramics studio and gallery I operate with my wife, ceramic artist, Megan Jorgenson. Together, we have a working studio on our property with multiple kilns including two wood burning kilns. We also recently established a community ceramics studio in downtown Kimball which houses a gallery and accommodates community pottery classes and open studio space for artists.

I received a Jerome Foundation Visiting Artist Award at the Saint John’s Pottery in 2002, Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation Award in 2011, and Individual Artist Awards through the Central Minnesota Arts Board.  I am currently the recipient of a 2024 Arts Education grant from the Minnesota State Arts Board where I am focusing on providing ceramic art opportunities at Maine Prairie Studio. Maine Prairie Studio is also a 2024 Project grant recipient for its, 2024 ceramic arts community workshop series as well.

My functional and sculptural work have been exhibited in galleries nationwide. I have also exhibited Internationally, at the 2nd  European Wood Fire Conference, Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center in Denmark in 2014. I have taught workshops focused on techniques I learned during my apprenticeship that incorporate Japanese and Korean influences. 

I deeply believe that working with wild clays cultivates relationships between the material and myself.  I strive to have a conversation with the material through minimally processing the clays.  I rely on subtle surface decoration, slips, a handful of glazes, wood and gas firing to create relationships in my work. My work is often a reflection of the source material. The true beauty is the clay itself, unglazed and raw, interacting with fire, charcoal, and atmosphere in the wood kiln.

While apprenticing at the Saint John’s Pottery I learned that using pottery daily makes these objects more valuable and appreciated through that daily ritual. I also believe the same for using wild clays and their connection to place, Using them connects me to those places. 

My voice over the years has been punctuated by the wild clays I use in my studio. Each is different and each connects me to the place where I dug them. Each has different properties and limitations. I use a variety of forming and making techniques in my practice. I often throw off a hump of clay on a Korean style kick wheel. This making approach lends to a gestural, subtle, more immediate response to the clay, which I appreciate. 

Besides using my kickwheels, I have been slip casting wild clays since 2016. Slip casting balances my making cycle with throwing. Over the years, I have made my own molds and also saved some commercial molds from the landfill.  I approach slip casting with a gestural and non-scientific lens similar to my throwing. More often than not, the clay is my voice. It carries me through the process, helping me embrace subtlety and imperfection. 

I have been using the clays I throw with as slips for surfacing and decorating. Using the same clays for casting has created organic change and growth in my work. I am drawn to slip casting and mold making because of its complexity. I have found that through using the wild clays, I have learned a lot about creating a completely different body of work. The same clay body can be used to achieve different results in the wood kilns, gas kilns, wheel thrown and slip cast. Through these processes, the clays have revealed a broad spectrum of results. It is what holds my attention and why I strive to know more and continue to practice with these materials.