Silverlens is pleased to announce Jon Pettyjohn’s second solo exhibition in the gallery, Stoneware Terrain.
In this series of new works, Pettyjohn embarks on a search for his holy grail, stoneware or porcelain, a unique material that a potter could mine and directly use from the ground. While in this journey, his fascination for landscapes and their scales from different viewpoints grow and he finds himself drawn to images of sunsets and sunrise that are translated to his pieces.
Stoneware is the name they give the clay we use. It comes from the erosion and decomposition of certain kinds of rock. The temperatures that we use to “fire” our work is almost identical to lava as it flows out of the volcano, as witnessed recently in the spectacular eruption of Mt. Mayon. In essence we are duplicating the very same processes that form the surface of the planet. What better inspiration, how lucky are we, we get to use God’s own palette.
I like to drive -- commutes to the city, long drives, road trips, whatever -- because I get lost in the scenery, especially the horizon line of the distant hills and mountains. Often I’m looking across Laguna de Bay, Talim Island, and Jalajala towards the mysterious Sierra Madres. The Pacific Ocean is just behind the ridges of Caliraya. I like the way the sense of scale gets lost as I’m moving by; it is difficult to tell how large or small objects are. I like looking at satellite photos also. The International Space Station has a live feed app that I can watch on my phone anytime. Sunsets and rises are particularly interesting. Lately these are the images I think of while working.
Sometimes as I drive I’m looking for clay, feldspar or volcanic materials that we often see off to the side in the road cuts. I keep a rock hammer and plastic bags in the trunk, you never know what you might find. The Holy Grail would be a beautiful stoneware or porcelain that we could use straight from the ground; it’s rare but it happens. I haven’t found it yet, even after 40 years of looking, but I feel I’m getting closer.
Mt Makiling has been our home since 1980. That famous profile that Jose Rizal described as a reclined woman is etched in my mind. There’s good clay on the mountain but I’ve avoided using it out of respect. Not cool digging holes in Maria Makiling’s garden. Just recently I drove over to the other side and discovered an interesting deposit on a nearby foothill. It just might be the one.
- Jon Pettyjohn
Stoneware Terrain is on view from 22 March 2018 – 21 April 2018 alongside Chaos, an exhibition by Mind Set Art Center’s artists Chih-Hung Liu, Jhong Jiang-Ze, Tang Jo-Hung and SILVERLENS represented artist Pow Martinez at Silverlens, 2263 Don Chino Roces Avenue Extension, Makati City. For inquiries, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or +63917-587-4011.