Jamie Zane Smith
Potter Jamie Zane Smith discusses his work and life.
“I have a strong commitment to building Wyandot pottery. Of most importance to me is retaining an integral sense of form inspired by ancient sensibilities. While my drive is to create new work that speaks to today’s world, my material comes from ancient sources. The ancient aesthetic that has stood the test of time still has the power to awe when beheld by the contemporary eye. I look back to my indigenous roots to guide me in learning values. Looking back to find out how to best live today causes me to look deeper into who I am. I realize that it is important to look back to a time when humans remembered that they were a part of the earth and there was no dualism between people and nature. When I make objects inspired by Great White Pine I feel like I am participating in the flow of nature. Arboreal ancestors are very old and their beauty is what sustains them on this earth.
For my personal story, I have had the privilege of growing up watching my uncle, Richard Zane Smith creating his own form of Wyandot pottery. What has remained with me is his desire to retain a quality of form and surface design that is thorough and precise. The perfection that he achieves is not gloss on the surface, rather a spiritually honest, human touched sensibility. I have recently had the opportunity to live in Wyandotte, Oklahoma and study with him for a year. I have learned very much from the experience and have become committed to honing my own style of sculptural vessel form.
I grew up in the city and since then have spent a lot of time traveling this continent and others. I have become convinced that the rural life is the one for me. I feel that to live lightly and simply on this earth. Right now my wife and I, and our two daughters live in an old two-room schoolhouse that my wife’s grandparents attended when they were young. It is in the Ozark mountains of Missouri. We live in a small valley at the point where two creeks meet. It is a beautiful place to live. I am constantly inspired by the ever-changing wooded landscape around me.
I want to thank all of the individuals who have supported and encouraged me and my family as I have put my time and energy into learning new pottery techniques and new ways of further developing Wyandot pottery.” – Jamie Zane Smith