Saturday, April 16, 2016

Featured Member Artist: Margaret Jimeson

Clay Network is pleased to introduce the Featured Member Artist series that will highlight the talent of one of our members
Margaret Jimeson is a founding member of Clay Network who began her career in ceramics over 55 years ago and will celebrate her 90th birthday in April 2016. Clay Network is honored to have this gifted and talented individual as part of our group and we have chosen her as our debut Featured Member Artist.
CN: Tell us about yourself
MJ: I was born in Baltimore, MD and am one of 6 children. I was unable to finish high school and began working early on. I have been married 67 years. When my children were in junior high, I returned to school to get my GED.
CN: When did you begin your career in pottery?
MJ: Well, I remember I was throwing a pot on the wheel and my friend came in and said that President Kennedy had been shot. That was a while ago! 
I attended a Jr. college in Baltimore graduating with honors in General Studies. Later, I received a Senatorial scholarship for the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore where I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Art Education. I graduated from college while my daughter was graduating HS. I taught Elementary Art for 15 years. Later, I took a sabbatical and received a Master's in Art Education at the University of MD at Towson College. While teaching art, I obtained my Master's in Ceramics at the Maryland Institute of Art in Baltimore. Eventually, I worked part-time while focusing on ceramics at the prestigious Potter's Guild of Baltimore. You have to be juried in to this talented group.
CN: Why ceramics?
MJ: Pottery was the love of my life. I wasn't comfortable with art when there were too many tools between me and the art. I want to make stuff with my hands. That's why I love clay.
CN: What is your favorite book? 
MJ: "To Kill a Mockingbird"…I have read it several times
CN: What is your favorite pottery book?
MJ: A hand building book by Paulus Berensohn: Finding One's Way With Clay, Pinched Pottery and the Color of Clay
CN: Who is your favorite potter?
MJ: I really like a hand builder from Jacksonville; Charlie Brown. His pots are totally black, burnished pots. I was attracted to his work. He was a giving person. I loved the simplicity. Potters should be giving with their knowledge. He was like that.
CN: What is your favorite tool?
MJ: Hands. I try to get as few tools as possible between me and the pots as I can. I couldn't be a potter if I couldn't use my hands.
CN: What is your best tip?
MJ: Repetition--develop things that lead to multiples. If you have an idea, find a way to replicate it. I use styrofoam for this technique. Make what people like even if it isn't what you always want to make. That way, your hobby isn't costing you money.
CN: Tell us how Clay Network began
MJ: I moved to Florida in 1979. Several of us got together to just meet other potters and order supplies in bulk because it was cheaper. There was a shop where we all bought supplies: Atlantic Beach Pottery. Later, we became more organized and developed by-laws. It began small and has really grown now.
CN: Is your pottery in collections or exhibits?
MJ: Over the years, I have sold my pottery all over. It resides mostly with private collectors. I do have a commissioned hanging piece for the Unitarian Church.
CN: Do you have any advice for the rest of us?
MJ: Use your hands. Use the least amount of tools as possible.
(2016, #1)