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Jess Elofson's Profile

About

As an potter I often play the game of who can do the most with absolutely nothing.

I live on my homestead family farm out side of Sioux Falls South Dakota, I have converted the original homestead house into my studio, and built my kilns in the quansit building. I graduated from USD with a BFA in 3-D art in 2005 under the guidance of Ceramics professor Mike Hill. I Fired and worked with Mike until I moved back to the farm in 2008 and began to build my own studio and kilns. I completed my wood kiln in spring of 2009 and as of 2012 I have fired my wood kiln 17 times.
In Dec 2012 I finished building my 6 burner down draft propane kiln. It is some of my best fabrication work to date. This kiln has opened a whole new door to me in my creative world. The work from this kiln fires to nearly the same temp as my wood kiln but creates much brighter colors. It allows me to…

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  • Male
  • Born on May 12
  • Joined November 17, 2010

Favorite materials

Clay, Fire, Wood, neph si, feldspar, kentuky ball clay, little soda ash

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About

As an potter I often play the game of who can do the most with absolutely nothing.

I live on my homestead family farm out side of Sioux Falls South Dakota, I have converted the original homestead house into my studio, and built my kilns in the quansit building. I graduated from USD with a BFA in 3-D art in 2005 under the guidance of Ceramics professor Mike Hill. I Fired and worked with Mike until I moved back to the farm in 2008 and began to build my own studio and kilns. I completed my wood kiln in spring of 2009 and as of 2012 I have fired my wood kiln 17 times.
In Dec 2012 I finished building my 6 burner down draft propane kiln. It is some of my best fabrication work to date. This kiln has opened a whole new door to me in my creative world. The work from this kiln fires to nearly the same temp as my wood kiln but creates much brighter colors. It allows me to now do custom dinner ware sets and other ordered sets.
I eventually plan to build an additional salt kiln and raku kiln in line with the two I have now. I am a hands on and sometimes coarse individual. I like to build my own equipment when ever possible. As well as my 2 kilns I have built my own wood splitter and put it on a Minneapolis Moline 1050. This wood splitter will split your average wood splitter in half. Along with my 20 inch huscavarna chain saw( that I affectionately call eco-murder). I have cut down, split and burned in excess of 200 trees. But I like to think that these trees gave themselves for a higher purpose, as they will forever live on as amazing colors and textures on the surfaces of my art work for millenia to come. I use minimal glazing on my work as I enjoy the natural effects of the wood fire. There are two glazes that I have had a love affair with, BBT shino and Rutile Blue. All my work is original, hand tooled, and entirely ceramic. I fire to cone 13 which is roughly 2450 degrees F. which makes my work functional, food safe, and just fine in the microwave.

Art is an odd gray area of human existence, sometimes praised, sometimes punished, and more often than not simply overlooked. Historically art has flourished and made its greatest marks during times of peace, when money was plentiful, and everyday people had time to reflect upon and expand the accomplishments of the human race. So as I look around I realize I probably couldn't have picked a worse time to take up the title of artist, yet I find this added challenge to be a bonus. I do not make art because it is easy. I have spent my life doing things just because people told me I shouldn't or couldn't. I find great satisfaction in overcoming the obstacles that accompany life in this line of work.

To find out more about the wood fire process, or to see more of my work, go to: www.jesselofson.com

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