Janel Jacobson has joyfully returned to full-time work as a potter after a twenty year interlude with carving small wood sculptures. She shares her studio with husband and fellow potter Will Swanson.
“The work of this new period has me thinking about both stoneware and porcelain clays and how to make the pots and glazes work together in interesting and subtle ways. More explorations await my attention.”
Janel uses a propane-fueled kiln that she built in 1983, which is fired in reduction to cone ten or eleven.
Most of the pots she makes are wheel-thrown. Janel enjoys working on a slow and quiet treadle wheel for more contemplative making. Sometimes an electric wheel is chosen for its strength for throwing larger pieces or speed for making lots of pots quickly.
She uses stoneware for most pots and periodically porcelain, too. Many of her glazes are for stoneware. Now when applied to porcelain pots they appear with very different and attractive results.
Janel says the feel and the smell of the clay, the beauty of the wet pots, the variety of glaze results, and the making of new forms are all a part of what make pottery-making a compelling life pursuit.
Janel has been self-employed since graduation from Luther College with a B.A. in Art in 1972. Further studies were gained during three summers with Marguerite Wildenhain at Pond Farm Pottery in the 1970’s.
In 1975 she established Sunrise Pottery in Sunrise, Minnesota where you will now find Janel and Will making pottery together. Their studio is one of the seven host pottery studios of the Saint Croix Valley Pottery Tour.