I am inspired by Eastern art, particularly Japanese and Korean ceramics. From Korea I really admire Buncheong and Onggi styles. Mishima, Bizen, Hagi, Seto, and Tokoname wares I like the most from Japan. Nevertheless, what I love the most about eastern pottery is its Zen-like forms and attitudes toward the craft. In Japanese and Korean pottery I find freedom from the, sometimes, rigid western traditions. While I love and admire European, American, and Latin American ceramics, in my work I envision a craft that emulates nature’s beauty.
In nature symmetry is hardly encountered, but its chaotic conformation is beautiful nonetheless. A tree, a rock, the ocean, offer no symmetry, but their parts are nicely put together. That’s exactly what I want to transmit. I want to offer ceramics of the highest craftsmanship possible while keeping an air of nature in every piece.
I’m a perfectionist by nature, but a Zen/Wabi-sabi aesthetic is my goal. Through pottery I’ve learned that there is more joy in the pursuit of excellence than in the pursuit of perfection. Embracing imperfection is something liberating, something I want to communicate through my work. That’s not to say I throw quality out the window. I’m constantly challenging myself to be the best in every artistic endeavor, and life in general.
Most of the pots I make are wheel thrown. I work primarily with Stoneware clay from local suppliers. I use glazes I mix myself using high quality materials. All glazes and clays are food safe. Finished pieces are fired at about 2269 F (~1243 C).
Ojalá studio is located in Burien, Washington. I’m originally from Mexico City but I’ve lived most of my life around Seattle. I’m happy about my background and at the same time feel very happy, and fortunate, to be living in this amazing part of the world. I’ve never received formal training in ceramics. I’m a self-taught potter. However, I’m always open to new techniques and very eager to improve my craft.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or comments.
Jose M. Melchor