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Jonathan Griffith

Clay + Wood

While earning a BFA in metal sculpture, I worked with teens as an outdoor counselor. During this time, I realized I wanted to teach art. Although my interests have shifted from metals to clay and wood, my love for the outdoors has continued to strongly influence my work. I have been teaching in Murfreesboro, TN for the last 14 years.

In 2002, just before I began teaching, I set up a clay studio.  For several years I have exhibited pottery with TACA now TN Craft, and similar outdoor fairs. In 2010, I made a couple pieces of custom furniture for our home and began to explore using hand tools in woodworking.  Over the last three years my interest in using local and exotic hardwoods with sculptured clay have guided my work in a new direction.

This work is based on simple elements and principles of design as well as a desire to fully understand the materials clay and wood.  Valuing craft, technique and the artist’s hand, I have always been more attracted to form over concept.  The wood-frame is as important as the clay when creating a unified whole.  Combining different wood species and emphasizing visual and tactile textures in clay provides multiple avenues in the work’s development and presentation.

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