Marc Jenesel and Karen Pierce
Collaboration: Marc Jenesel and Karen Pierce
This work is about relationships: how we relate to each other and to the materials. It’s a dance of the media, the colors, the textures, the materials, and our own individual ideas of how the finished piece should look. There is a subtle complexity to this work: the more one looks at the piece, the more one sees. The challenge is to marry all of these different characteristics into an elegant and harmonious whole that reflects the natural surroundings from which the materials come. Ultimately each piece should look like the perfect, long-term relationship: one that you can’t imagine any other way. In our case, Marc starts the sentence with raku and Karen finishes it with fiber.
Marc’s Artist Statement
I have always been involved in the visual arts in some form: video, photography, illustration, sculpture and printmaking. At the same time, much of my education is in the sciences. I’ve always felt that art and science run parallel courses: as science has become more abstract and “out there” so has art. I think that to have a well-rounded education in the arts you must also study the sciences.
I worked recently as a graphics artist and animator, immersed in the virtual world of computers during the day. Then I went home and threw clay, “played in the mud”. They are at opposite ends of the spectrum. I create vessels that I fire raku. Here science merges with art as I research how to obtain the range of color from the glazes, through chemistry and post-firing reduction. I love the range of colors and textures that are raku and I am just now scratching the surface of possibilities.
For several years I have been creating raku pieces that I alter and give to Karen, who furthers the piece by attaching spokes and weaving dyed fibers and other materials into a woven sculpture. I try to avoid “art directing” her work, which requires trust and giving up my attachment to the final product. I’m very thrilled with this process of collaboration and I believe it has resulted in an unconventional and elegant union of clay and fiber.
Karen’s Artist Statement
I use traditional basket weaving techniques and materials from around the world in unconventional ways to create one-of-a-kind pieces. I weave free hand without molds and color the fibers with dye or paint.
The shapes and colors of the pieces that Marc creates have the greatest influence on my work in fiber. The challenge for me is finding a way to complement the raku.
Weaving is a slow and rhythmic process that is like a form of meditation. As a piece grows I love to watch seemingly lifeless materials join to form a new body of their own with a unique look, touch and smell. Each piece tells me when it is “done”.