Johnathan first encountered clay in kindergarten when his mom signed him up for classes at the rec center in town. After some years away, he started again as a freshman in high school, being captivated by teapots, bottle-neck vases, and the glassy results of glaze firings. As an organic chemist, much of Johnathan’s approach to clay is informed by the scientific process and experimentation with glaze chemistry and mixing his own glazes. For Johnathan, the glaze process is undoubtedly the most important; without glaze, the pot is a static, lifeless, blank canvas, waiting for its final form to be realized. 

Clay has taught Johnathan to appreciate failure and understand that making (or doing) anything great is an ongoing, often iterative and repetitive process. His main goal is to create within this mindset and see what his hands (and glazes) can do—the only limit is his attitude (and tolerance for back pain)! 

Johnathan’s work is influenced by his clay teacher in high school, Chris Fehl, and by Karen Karnes, Dan Unsworth (at Ingleton Pottery, UK), by master potters Hsin Chuen Lin and Hideaki Miyamura, and by master onggi crasftsman Lee Kang-hyo. He also appreciates a good clay conversation with any TPS member, because there is always so much to learn from how others approach the muddy medium. 

“We shape clay into a pot, but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want.” ~Lao Zi