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Instructor Jesse Semel

Jesse Semel

Jesse Semel

Jesse Semel, a Connecticut native, has been immersed in the world of art since childhood, influenced by his father's artistic talents. As an artist, he found his true calling in the realm of ceramics, a medium he has explored since his high school years. Jesse's artistic journey has been defined by his pursuit of challenging preconceived notions about art tools and functionality, bridging the gap between pottery and artistic expression.

Studying studio arts with a ceramics focus at the University of Colorado Boulder, Jesse honed his craft under the guidance of world class professors. While embracing the modern and elegant, his work accentuates the form and wheel-throwing process in each meticulously crafted piece. He developed his distinctive style by embracing the wheel, even when urged to step away from it, thus preserving the essence of what drew him to ceramics.

With a vision to inspire appreciation for art devoid of utilitarian expectations, Jesse aspires to evoke thought and emotion through his ceramic creations. His masterful approach aims to encourage others to explore the artistic potential of ceramics beyond their conventional function.

No one asks what a painting is supposed to be used for, it is accepted that one can paint for the pure joy of creation. But in ceramics there is a deeply ingrained association between wheel thrown vessels and function, which overshadows the artistic process required to create the piece. There is a spectrum from functional to sculptural, and Jesse desires to explore that blurred line and see if he can sharpen the moment a piece loses utility.  His work visually represents this exploration of function by combining traditional and non-traditional wheel thrown vessels in unconventional ways. This is designed to reinforce that the wheel is simply a tool for creation, and not restricted to utilitarian production.

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