John Chianelli

The Pottery Vase

Behold its flowing symmetrical lines and the simplicity of its beauty. Savor the casual observance that offers an innate contentment and warm respite from life. Consider this natural and graceful form that ties us to the beginnings of our existence. Listen to this conversation between man and earth, their incarnation. Welcome this vessel so profoundly unique in its embodiment of spirit and earth. Reflect in its affable existence.

~John Chianelli – November 2008

Artist Statement
John S. Chianelli, Ceramic Artist

My venture with the ceramic arts commenced the fall of 1997 in Northern California. I was privileged to receive a diverse education through community courses, professional workshops and college instruction. Training quickly became intuitive and a natural grasp of basic skills ignited my journey into this art form. The eventual co-founding of the Orchard Valley Ceramics Artist Guild of the San Francisco bay area provided invaluable groundwork through interaction with many talented ceramic artists. The twenty-first century marked a shift in venue from California to Minnesota where I continued practicing my craft through pottery studio membership, again benefiting from the pottery community at large. I eventually opened a private studio in Prior Lake, MN in 2001 where I continue to immerse myself into the ceramic medium.

Being an avid collector of fine southwest Pueblo pottery for many years served as my foray into ceramic arts. My aspiration was to create art as fine as I collected. Amongst the Pueblo people, their vessels are not regarded as simple containers, but as spiritual vehicles of wisdom. Understanding the people who made these vessels compelled me to discover a primal earth connection and recognize the spiritual dimension of my work. Choreographing all the basic elements of earth, water, air and fire continually enforces this primeval bond. I feel that being well centered and grounded with the earth promotes a natural flow of creativity, the essence of who we are as humans.

While artistic expression is born of the soul, technical skills are required to express what lies within. My engineering background facilitates a natural movement through this intensely process-oriented art form and encourages the detailed character of my work. This layering of skills and influences has translated into a style mostly about form that I am best able to express through the long flowing lines of vases. I regard each piece I create as sculpture, always striving to create works of near perfect proportions. Characteristically, my work is thin walled, smooth surfaced and occasionally incorporates mixed-media. Most importantly, I feel truth to a core style that clearly conveys masculinity and grace.

I believe it is important for an artist to develop a unique style and identity. It is equally important to create art that continually evolves with newness. Being naturally true to a style, while working to keep it innovative, is the most challenging yet rewarding aspect of my art. I take comfort in a demanding approach that helps define my art and provides a deeply gratifying form of artistic self-expression. I create my art simply for the joy of creating, no other reason. I am extremely grateful for the ability to craft artistic objects of my passion that solicit emotion and bring a unique satisfaction to those they attract.