Jeanne Scott-Zumwalt

copper red available glazeI first began making pottery in high school in the mid-eighties. While I loved making art, I never really considered it as a profession until well after I graduated from Truman State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art History in 1992. Bachelor’s Degrees in Art History don’t offer much in employment options in northern Missouri, so in 1995 I went back to school to complete a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Studio Art with an emphasis in Ceramics.

I was lucky enough to meet Dr. Edward McEndarfer along the way. Ed ran the Ceramics Department at Truman and received his Master of Fine Arts Degree from the School for American Craftsmen in Rochester, New York. I couldn’t have hoped for a better or more qualified mentor.
After completing my studies I built a studio in the back yard of a rented farm house just south of Kirksville, Missouri. I worked as an apprentice to Melissa Hogenson, owner of Clay Images, in Ethel, Missouri part time, tended bar part time and worked in my own studio. I was offered a job to do piece work at Ayers’ Pottery in Hannibal, Missouri in May of 2000 and left the bar scene behind. Steve and Linn let me work two or three days a week making work for them and I spent the rest of my time working in my own studio. After a year-and-a-half I was ready to fly solo.
I opened Gone to Pot Ceramics Studio and started applying to juried art festivals throughout the Midwest. My first ever show was in Springfield, Missouri in May of 1998. I am amazed that I even got accepted; I had no idea what I really wanted to make! Nearly twenty years later the list of pots I really want to make is long, and I suppose I’ll be a potter as long as that list stays that way.
My current work is made of glazed English Grolleg Kaolin Porcelain clay. What that means in layman’s terms is that the finished work is bright (because the clay doesn’t contain any iron), and durable (because the clay is all fine particle and very dense once fired). All of my finished work is dishwasher, microwave and conventional oven safe. I think it’s rude to make pots that look like you can use them if you can’t, so I don’t. Thermal shock, impact and uneven heating are the enemies of all pottery, so my work is not indestructible, but with a little care it will bring both beauty and function to your life for many years.
I make all of my work one piece at a time. Each piece is thrown on a pottery wheel and as such is a one-of-a-kind unique piece of art. I have been accused of casting pieces, but if you look closely you will see differences in size and shape that make each piece unique. Once I became a skilled thrower I realized that I could make a lot more inventory on the wheel than I could by casting; that is actually a very time-consuming process.