Jenny Eaton is a self taught ceramicist. Embarking on a series of adult education
classes in 1983 and motivated by an extremely skilled and exacting teacher who encouraged
her to set up her first studio. In 1993 she moved to her present workshop in an
idyllic farmhouse in the Forest of Bowland where her experiments with Raku firing
allowed her to freely reflect her observations of the elements on the natural world.
By trial and error the combination of hand building and throwing, Raku and smoke
firing, produced the desired aged and eroded effect.
Her latest, figurative work is an exciting new departure for her. Each piece is
individually made. No casting or moulding is involved in its creation. When approaching
a new figure it is with almost total spontaneity. Over a period of time, she assembles
fragmented sketches superimposed with selected text to help generate her work. Drawing
on this resource each piece has been conceived either with an individual in mind,
memory of emotion, or reaction to an experience. She attempts to convey the emotion
by using the strongest elements of the pose or gesture, to realize the figure. The
semi androgynous, fragmented, pared down nature of the work helps to minimise distraction,
and focus the eye.
Jenny uses Earthstone stoneware clays. Employing several different handbuilding techniques,
including: slabbing, pinching and coiling. A bisque firing to 1000 degrees
centigrade is followed by the application of stains or oxides or both. This is followed
by a final firing in an electric kiln to 1240 degrees centigrade. Alternatively a
smoke firing is used, perhaps combining oxides or stains as before. The figures
are then securely fixed to steel posts and mounted on wooden plinths.