In making my work, I take clay-- broken down by many forces from many things into a simple, homogenized substance, and give it a new life as something more complex. By giving it just some of the basic qualities of life—a sense of movement, growth, and breath—the pieces develop presence and take on unique personalities and trajectories. The inspiration for many of my forms and surfaces is drawn from nature. Nature and its many life forms offer an infinite palette of forms and shapes to work from and explore. Such a variety and diversity of life exists-- from plants and animals and human beings, to viruses and bacteria and everything in between. The abilities to move, grow, and procreate are the common threads which exist in all of nature. These abilities culminate in the capacity of living things to evolve and change, whether over the course of their own lifetime, or through the passage of generations.
Jake Johnson lived in Wisconsin and Texas when he was young, but grew up mostly in Peoria, Illinois. He attended Bradley University in Peoria, where he studied both sculpture and ceramics. He later earned an MFA from Penn State University. Jake currently lives and works in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania where he has a home studio and is a member of the Potters’ Guild in Lemont.