Jessie Wright is the maker behind JAW Pottery. Originally from rural Ontario, she’s called Halifax, Nova Scotia her home for the past 10 years. It’s evident in her work that she has a true love and passion for the art of pottery. From a young age, she has been enthralled with the craft and has since opened her own studio in her home in Halifax; which she says makes her life easier to check on a piece at any hour of the day or night. When she’s not making, Jessie loves to swim and guarantees that she will be the first one to swim in any given body of water. Additionally, Jessie further fosters her creativity by gardening and building projects around the house with her husband.
From dainty hair clips to entire dish sets, Jessie creates a wide variety of exclusive, one-of-a-kind products.
We reached out to Jessie to learn more about her creative process and what inspires her. Here's what she had to say:
What inspired you get into pottery making?
When I was about 15, a good friend of my family opened a teaching pottery studio, my step mom and I started taking evening classes together, and I was very quickly obsessed. I never enjoyed the art classes offered at my highschool, so this gave me an alternate option to create with very little rules.
After high school, I sought out community centers wherever I was living to take classes from, until I was lucky enough to meet a retiring potter looking to get rid of all their equipment and a lot of raw materials.
What does your creative process look like?
I really know what I like and I try to recreate it everytime. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with ideas that seem perfect, until I try to make them and see how they need changing. Always trial and error. Learning from mistakes.
How long does it take to make a piece from start to finish?
The shortest about of time I could make something start to finish is about 5 days, if all circumstances are perfect. But generally most things take a few days longer.
What pieces other than mugs do you create? What is your favourite piece to create?
I currently make planters, mugs, tumblers, vases, serving dishes, lidded vessels, but my favourite things to make are dish sets. I only do then by custom order, but it makes sure that the customer gets exactly what they want and when you can see the whole set together, it’s a beautiful thing!
What is the inspiration behind your designs?
I am very interested in how you can use the clay to its greatest potential, with little waste (in the form of trimming). I think the cylinder is the greatest test of a potter, getting the walls to be even and thin, without compromising its strength.
Where is your favourite place to work and why?
Pottery is pretty stationary, luckily I love my studio because I can't work anywhere else!
What does your business mean to you?
Freedom and control. It’s incredibly hard sometimes, and I wish I had extra hands and skills, but learning how to seek out people who have the skills you don’t and ask for help has been very beneficial. Connecting with a like minded community has been my favourite part!
We are delighted to carry several of Jessie’s creations at LQ, both in-store and online. You can shop her collection of mugs here.
Thank you, Jessie for a sneak peek into your life and the story behind your products!