Jeanette Morrow

About Jeanette Morrow

My sculptures are based on images of women and animals that resonate with me visually, emotionally or spiritually. These images may be seen in life, in other artist’s work or in books and magazines.

I am fascinated with the birds I encounter on walks with my dog — such as crows, yellow–billed magpies, hawks, and roadrunners – as well as the jackrabbits and coyotes I have seen locally and when living in the Southwest.

I visit museums and galleries on a regular basis and also peruse a variety of art and wildlife books and magazines for inspiration, never knowing when I might spot a potential pattern or image I need to incorporate into a sculpture.

Like many artists, my influences and focus are largely the result of childhood exposure to images that resonate with me, such as geometric patterns and bright colors from stained glass windows at church and women who are strongly reminiscent of statues of the saints and the blessed virgin. I particularly am drawn to depicting faces that are serene and compassionate, like those I viewed as a child. 

 Working with clay is very rewarding, not only for its tactile properties but also for the process of watching the artwork within it emerge. Sculpting has opened a door for me to explore the natural world and to feel a deeper connection with a larger reality. It has become a lifelong learning process, not only in sculpting, glazing and firing techniques, but also in exploring other cultures and looking more closely at the world around me.   


The Process

Sculptures are made from a locally manufactured high fire sculpture clay using a variety of modeling techniques to create the initial form. Working in cycles, objects are built from clay slabs, coils or solid clay that is hollowed out. Forms are dried and bisque fired in my Geil downdraft gas kiln to turn them from clay to ceramic. I then do a cycle of glazing using mostly glazes that I make in my studio.

My current favorites are a satin semi-matt glaze and a high fired ash glaze made with wood ash from a friend’s wood burning stove. These base glazes are colored with chemicals or stains to achieve a broad range of hues. The glazed objects are fired a second time to a higher temperature – cone 6 – which is approximately 2200 degrees. After the second fire, there is often some post-firing touch up and adjustment before the piece is finished.  

I have an affinity for vertical forms and to that end, I make pedestals to elevate many of my women and animal sculptures.