Artist Jen Stein Bio:
Growing up in Northern Italy has influenced my passions and esthetics.
I have been working in clay since 1994 and absolutely love throwing porcelain on the wheel. Over the years I have made miniatures, large alto-rilievo murals, functional ware, figurative sculpture, and even bathroom sinks.
For the last decade my focus has been making rouletted pottery - intricate bass-relief textures impressed into the rim of my thrown porcelain pots with a hand-carved roulette. I love to sculpt new roulettes (round stamps) so I now have many patterns to offer – mostly inspired by nature. Each pot is numbered and signed, each a carefully detailed yet functional centerpiece.
The bas-relief pattern on my pots is made by impressing textures into the soft clay with a 'roulette' - a round porcelain stamp. The sculpting of a roulette is done in reverse: all surfaces meant to protrude must be carved deep into the clay, and the left and right sides of the image must be flipped - a mental puzzle I thoroughly enjoy. After the roulette has been fired in the kiln, I slowly press the moist porcelain of a freshly thrown pot into the textures of the roulette, revealing the design.
Once the pot has been fired, I brush a brown stain over the textures, then wipe the stain from the surface to highlight the details and lend a parchment look to the surface. I then meticulously hand-paint the images with multiple colors. When you look at the back of the pot's wall you can see the finger marks left in the clay.
As soon as the painting is complete, I apply several coats of food-safe glazes. After a final firing, the pots are at last ready to be enjoyed.