Stewart, Janet

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Janet Stewart,
Janet Stewart Pottery,
Alpine, Texas

Email: janetstewartpottery@gmail.com

Website: https://www.bigbendartscouncil.org/janet-stewart

Artist Statement:
I am pursuing two lines of work; one is inspired by my grandmother’s Fiesta Ware, and the other by the beauty of my home in the high desert of W. Texas. To be part of a crafts tradition that is ancient, worldwide, and enduring gives me great pride.

Studio Description:
My studio had such humble beginnings in 2006 that I called it my “shedio.” Two expansions later, I have a studio that energizes me to create. It is divided into an area for wheel work, an area for handbuilding, and a glaze/kiln room. I am so lucky!

What type of clay do you use?
Earthenware.

What temperature do you fire to?
I bisque to cone 04; fire to cone 05 in an electric kiln.

What is your primary forming method?
Handbuilding using soft slabs and wheel throwing with extruded rims, foot rings, and handles.

What is your favorite surface treatment?
Newsprint transfers with colored slips, and carved roller embossed designs.

Do you make any of your own tools?
I make and carve designs on rollers and impress the designs into soft slabs. The effect is that of embossing. I also design and make plaster molds of tiles with desert designs. A friend built me a tile press, so I am able to replicate tiles easily.

What one word would you use to describe your work?
Authentic.

What is your favorite thing about your studio?
My studio and I have both evolved; it provides an aesthetically pleasing space in which to create.

What is the one thing in your studio you can’t live without?
Windows and light, although the dry desert air and west Texas winds can be a challenge.

What are your top three studio wishes?
I would like to start teaching in my studio, so wishes would include the tools, clay, and equipment to do so.

What’s on your current reading list?
Recent audiobooks: “Nothing to See Here,” “The Dutch House” (read by Tom Hanks), “A Fine Balance.”

How do you save money on materials and supplies?
Stay away from the NCECA vendor hall! Plus I live 400 miles from the nearest supply store.

How do you recharge creatively?
Daily walks and napping on my screened back porch. I have had the good fortune to travel for ceramics over the years too. Three overseas ICAN trips!

Who is your ceramic art mentor and why?
Jim Bob Salazar, former profession at Sul Ross State Univ., and current studio potter. A master!

What is your studio playlist?
Two radio stations to choose from and I find the country station to be the most uplifting.

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