We Chat To Ceramic Artist Jade Paton

We catch up with ceramic artist, Jade Paton.

What inspired you to start the art of pottery?

I took a pottery class in 2018 and immediately fell in love with the medium. I have a background in sculpture, having studied fine art at Michaelis (University of Cape Town). I have always loved creating three-dimensional objects.

Photographer: Johno Mellish

Where did you learn your glazing techniques?

I am still at the early stages of experimentation, while a lot of the glazes I currently use are existing ones, I am excited to learn to mix my own glazes.


What do your pieces mean to you, on both a personal and professional level?

On a professional level it is very important for my work to be cohesive and on brand. It needs to evolve and develop organically, and it is necessary that I find a balance between product development and fulfilling orders.


On a personal level, I am fulfilling an innate desire to create. I get a lot of satisfaction from realising work that I have envisioned.


Did you ever feel discouraged throughout your journey as a ceramic artist?

The unpredictable nature of the medium can sometimes lead to disappointing results. Cracks can occur and things can go wrong with glaze. You put so much love and energy into a piece of work and then sometimes at the very end it does not work out. This is  a stressful aspect of my craft. I often build doubles when I have tight deadlines. I have also learned to accept this as part pf the process. This unpredictable nature can however also lead to positive results that I embrace.


What is the most difficult challenge you face when working with your hands constantly?

I can’t imagine doing any work that is not with my hands. Working for extended periods of time can however be physically taxing.


Do you ever get artistically stuck?

I am inspired by ancient vessels from a variety of cultures, as well as forms occurring in nature. I also draw inspiration from artists such as Isamu Noguchi, Valentine Schlegel and Henry Moore, to name a few. Because I am constantly looking at books and online resources, I don’t find myself getting stuck. I find that I have more ideas than I have time to realise them.

Has advertising your work on Instagram been beneficial?

Instagram is the primary platform where I showcase my work. A lot of effort goes into curating my feed and making sure that I have high quality images that people will want to share. So far I have been very successful at growing my following and expanding my client base around the world.


When customers order one of your pieces, what is the biggest challenge you face?

The biggest challenge I face is making clients understand that there are a lot of factors that could potentially delay the process. The temperamental nature of the medium can make impending deadlines rather daunting.


What has been the peak of your career so far?

In recent months I have gone from producing work for local stockists, to shipping out orders around the world. I have received commissions from reputable companies in Tokyo, Paris, New York and London. It’s surreal to think that my pieces are all over the globe.


What are your goals for the near future?

The outbreak of the Covid-19 virus has made it a very strange and surreal time to imagine the nature of the future. I hope that when this passes, business can continue to grow. More than ever I appreciate that I am able to do what I love.


What projects have you worked on that you enjoyed the most and why?

For my launch exhibition at AKJP Studio I was given complete creative freedom to produce a body of work, as well as curate the space it was shown in. I enjoy working without restrictions and being able to experiment with new forms and glazes.


For more information follow Jade on Instagram: @jadepatonceramics