managing editor, ceramic arts daily
program manager, ceramic arts daily presents video series
Jennifer Harnetty discovered ceramics the quarter before she graduated from Ohio University with an English degree in 1996 and has been making pots ever since. In 2004, she became assistant editor, and later associate editor, of Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated (positions that nicely combined her interest in ceramics and her English degree, wouldn’t you say?). In 2008, she became managing editor of Ceramic Arts Daily, and more recently, DVD program manager for the Ceramic Arts Daily Presents video series, an expanding collection of instructional videos for ceramic artists.
Outside the office, Jen is kept busy in her gig as mom to an energetic little boy. Other interests include family, friends, music, gardening, dogs, horsies, being crafty, books, movies, endless home improvement projects. Lately, in her precious 2-3 hours in the studio a week, she has been working in both porcelain and earthenware with underglaze decoration and various image transfer techniques.
I was lucky enough to go to a high school that offered dedicated ceramics courses in the art department, and even luckier that the school employed a potter to teach those classes. That’s what helped me decide to major in ceramics in college.
While operating a studio after college, I answered a form letter from the editor of Ceramics Monthly magazine, who was looking for part-time editorial help. Only then did I realize that the magazine I had subscribed to for years was published in my hometown of Columbus, Ohio. I started as a part-time Assistant Editor in 1999. After the position went full time the following year, it became clear that the studio could never really do better than break even with the time I was able to devote to it. The obvious, though not easy, decision was to close up shop, pack up the equipment and materials, and concentrate on supporting the field from the other side of the studio door.
Today, I have a small basement studio that I’m lucky to get to once a week. It feels good to know it’s there, but it feels better when I can get down there long enough to feel productive. Ceramics Monthly, Ceramic Arts Daily, the DVDs, and all of the other projects we have going are certainly challenging and fulfilling, but there is no substitute for the satisfaction I get from studio work. That corner of the basement is sometimes the most valuable piece of real estate in the house.
With the day job at the magazine and a young daughter, I manage to produce a kiln load of work about every three months. I started making things that were more manageable in terms of the number of times I would need to come back to them, because I can’t always check back on a body of work that involves a lot of appendages and little parts. What I discovered was that simpler forms offered a lot of creative surface possibilities, and I ended up adding to them more, with lots of little dots and patterns, coming back to them more often than I would with more complex forms. Apparently, I need things to be complex.
editor, pottery making illustrated; associate editor, ceramics monthly
Holly began her career in ceramics from the outside looking in. With her face pressed against the glass, staring in at the potters, she worked for the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum developing the U of Minnesota’s Public Art minor program and earning an art history degree from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. Tiring of a sore neck and the heavy weight of jealousy, she stopped resisting the messy art kids and whole-heartedly joined them. A BFA in ceramics followed shortly after. Years later while studying ceramics in The Ohio State University’s grad program, she took an internship at Ceramics Monthly and has been on staff ever since. Holly currently works as editor for Pottery Making Illustrated and associate editor for Ceramics Monthly and now spends a lot of time inside the office looking out.
Like everyone else on staff, Holly has burrowed out a small space for a studio in her basement — that sweet spot between the furnace and the washing machine that is all her own. Lacking the will (and the space) to continue making large, heavy installations, she is working on a new body of functional pieces. Now her compulsive gathering, stacking, storing, saving, containing, tending, grouping, comparting, and sorting nature is finally content in building empty pots for others to fill.
editor, ceramics monthly; associate editor, pottery making illustrated
Jessica Knapp has undergraduate degrees in English and ceramics from Kutztown University, as well as an MFA in Ceramics from the University of Colorado at Boulder. After moving at least once a year for about a decade for school, residencies, and jobs, she started work at Ceramics Monthly and Pottery Making Illustrated as assistant editor, and has since become associate editor, and most recently, editor.
When she’s not at the office, she can usually be found in her studio, a.k.a. her basement, making work, experimenting, and generally making a mess that she tries not to track around the rest of the house. Beyond studio work, she enjoys working in her garden, attempting to make home improvements, hiking (there are hills in Ohio, honest there are), and traveling.