Jen Allen received a BFA (2002) from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and a MFA (2006) from Indiana University, Bloomington. From 1998-2002, she worked as a production assistant to Kris Bliss at Bliss Pottery in Anchorage, AK. In March 2008, the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA) recognized Jennifer as an “Emerging Artist”. Among other awards, she was the recipient of the 2006-2007 Taunt Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. In addition to keeping a home studio, Jennifer currently teaches ceramic classes at West Virginia University. She lives in Morgantown, WV with her husband Shoji Satake, their two kids, Annelise and Finn and their two dogs, Billie and Ella.
Whether forming a vase that decorates a room or producing dinnerware that celebrates a meal, my work is made to honor and enhance the rhythms of home life. Driven to create pottery for special occasions, I visualize the holiday table brimming with food, flowers and candlelight. While I enjoy the vibrant energy encircling a festive gathering, I find the contemplative moments sipping a morning cup of coffee equally as invigorating. My work is intended to live in these instances of physical and psychological nourishment.
As a lover of textiles and sewing, I use details such as folds, seams, darts, pleats, tufts and ruffles to relate to the craft of a seamstress. It is important that these methods of construction are evident in each finished piece. Tactile surfaces and floral imagery are gathered from specific textile sources created during times of optimism: nostalgic childhood textiles, post WWII patterns, Arts and Crafts Era designs and Edo period kimono fabrics..
Determined to keep handmade an essential part of the contemporary home, my ongoing focus is to reinforce personal sentiments of beauty, joy, nourishment and celebration through porcelain tableware. Whether it’s a festive meal shared by many or a cup of hot cocoa indulged by one, I remain motivated by moments when pottery is in use. By making thoughtful, useful handcrafted pottery for the domestic landscape, I am inspired to enhance the home, engage the hand and enliven the spirit.