My Philosophy

Clay may be the most humble substance on the planet – the Earth itself, trod upon, dug up, shaped, and slowly returned to its humble beginnings time and again. Its simplicity, combined with its limitless potential, has made it a great source of joy and adventure in my life. Like many children, I began playing with clay when I was young.

But when I was twelve, I began to see more than stick figures and crocodiles. I sat down and tried to make a head of my favorite uncle, my first portrait. When I saw for the first time how clay can come alive and capture the feeling of a person or a moment, I knew that this was what I would be doing for the rest of my life.

I am moved by the concrete specifics of my life more than any abstract conception of underlying principles. I am more interested in the reality of the woman sitting across from me in a coffee shop than in that of β€œthe ideal beauty.”

I have always tried to express larger archetypal concepts in the way that I experience them, that is through the particularity of the individual. I am not a slave to detail and sometimes I'll spend endless hours polishing ringlets of hair or trying to recreate the shape of thread running through the button holes in a costume, but sometimes the impression or the feeling of that  is conveyed less literally. 

In other words, it is not my intent to convince you that clay is anything other than clay.

What I set out to do is to make the people, animals, events, or emotions feel as real to you as they do to me. I work in a simple and straightforward way that does not sacrifice the beauty of the form to the beauty of the material.

I look forward to creating a piece with you.

Jim Gion

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