John Hodge

I make decorative pottery, milagros and ex-votives in glazed and painted finishes. My formal art training was in painting but my interests quickly incorporated pottery and I actively pursued both separately for years. My new work fuses those interests into one statement. The traditional pottery techniques allow me to design and make the ceramic canvases that later come to life with glazed and/or painted surfaces of mixed media. The pottery is usually wheel thrown with minor hand building techniques in a series of related concepts involving shape, texture and applied decoration with some vague idea of how to decorate them with color. The throwing phase usually lasts long enough that by the time I get to the painting I have forgotten what I originally intended or have gotten excited about some new idea.
In any event, I am usually beginning to “panic” about that time and end up working in a wildly extemporaneous manner. This leads to many accidental discoveries which further the creative process and affects each successive work. This results in one-of-a-kind expressions in a conglomeration of all my artistic experiences. Every piece of pottery that I make generates from clay or slip (liquid clay) that has been mixed in my studio. I have begun to think of this clay and slip as a source of energy which I enhance with special additions, including holy water and fountain from our favorite churches and fountains in Rome, and holy dirt from the shrine of Chimayo in New Mexico.
I also added the ashes of ribbon that I got from the trash can in the apartment where John Lennon and Yoko Ono were living on Bank Street in New York City, when they were fighting extradition to England in the ‘70’s. Also included are the ashes of ticker tape from the John Glenn ticker tape parade in New York. I think of my pottery as a reliquary of positive energy. This one of a kind work has been designed and hand made of clay which has been bisque fired and glazed or painted with non-fired mixed media including pigments with metallic particles which are then washed with acids to produce the unusual patinas.

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