Jeremy Fineman – Potter
Coffee mugs with rattles, bowls with feet, double bowls with feet are just a few of the things that make Jeremy Fineman’s ceramics whimsical yet practical.
Jeremy Fineman discovered the tactile process of creating ceramics during his last semester of college at the University of Hartford in Connecticut. “I fell in love with the texture and the ability to make anything I could think of,” Fineman says. That love pushed him into obtaining his Master of Fine Arts degree in ceramics from East Carolina University.
As an undergrad, Fineman studied photography. Today, he uses his photography skills by using his ceramics as models. He creates large groupings of his ceramics to emphasize the unique characteristics of each pot. Fineman also finds inspiration from cartoons. He says, “I want to incorporate the whimsical qualities and add anthropomorphic qualities to my pots.”
Fineman’s other inspirations derive from his many interests in life. He enjoys swimming and surfing, and says, “Surfing and water influence the movement of the pots and how I try to work with the material in a fluid nature.” In addition, he enjoys gardening, which is a major source of inspiration for his pottery. His pottery tends to mimic the forms of a leaf unraveling or a flower budding. He incorporates his love of cooking into his ceramics as well. “I cook and try new recipes that art meant to be served on the dishes [I create] and echo the food or beverage being served,” Fineman says.
To create his ceramics, Fineman has a slow, methodical process. He uses a kick wheel instead of an electric wheel to throw his pots, and enjoys making his own tools. “I like the manual labor and the directness this process offers,” he says. He spends a lot of hands-on time with his pots, and pays close attention to the line quality that the rim and appendages serve. “Through tapping, folding, and smoothing my pots, they start to have individual characteristics that help them become unique and exhibit the hand-made quality of each form,” Fineman says. Currently, he uses gas-fired kilns, but will also use wood-fire kilns when he has access to them. “I love the labor involved with a wood fire process and the direct involvement with each cycle,” he says.
As of late, Fineman has been spending a lot of his time and energy helping to establish Art Avenue in Greenville. He maintains a studio there and, with the help of the others involved in this project, shows contemporary artwork. In addition, he teaches Art Appreciation and Non-Western Art History at Pitt Community College. Someday, he would like to teach ceramics at a college or university and establish a studio with wood burning kilns. As for right now, he is working on getting his artwork into ten more galleries this year in high traffic areas both locally and country-wide.
People can find Jeremy Fineman’s work at galleries like Lone Leaf in Washington, NC; Worcester Craft Center and Green Hill Center for Art in Greensboro. He also sells pieces through Etsy under “Bullfrogtoes Ceramics.” His prices range from $10 – $500, depending on the forms.