"Whenever I look at the jungle from my home studio, or over the pacific from the ceramic studio at the Hui NoíEau I am amazed and delighted, both by where I am, and how I got here. 45 years ago, waiting to pick up a friend taking a pottery course, I sat down at a potters wheel and made an ashtray. That single experience was so satisfying that after a while I left an academic career as a physicist to apprentice to a local potter for a year, then moved to Quadra Island in the pacific northwest to set up a pottery studio (this was the 70ís!). After 20 years of making, building and demanding physical work I burned out, and went back to academia. However, the satisfaction of working with clay was still calling, and I came back to it 15 years later in Vancouver, BC. And now Iím making pots on Maui! I started off being a strictly functional potter, producing a whole range of utilitarian pots, using clay I mixed myself, and glazes I developed to fit my clay. Then I got caught up in the immediacy of raku, pulling red hot pieces straight out of the fire and having the finished object available right then, rather than waiting 3 days for the kiln to cool. I made a range of decorative wall pieces, platters and vases, experimenting with textures and color. When I returned to clay after my 15 year hiatus, I started working with white clay and more colorful glazes, always searching for that perfect glaze for that certain piece.
And Iím still looking for ways to enhance the surface of the pieces I produce. I want deep, rich colors, with a smooth but not shiny surface that invites you to touch. I like my glazes to ďbreakĒ on edges or lines of slip- my latest fascination is with faceting, incising or slip trailing on surfaces. I play with colors and glazing techniques to both catch the eye and give a texture that is interesting to the hand. And since moving to Maui I get to experiment with a range of local materials that reflect the uniqueness of the island. For example, right now I am trying to use the famous Maui red dirt, both as a surface (rich, coarse and metallic), and as a component of a glaze (green to brown). When I make functional ware now Iím still concerned with how well the pieces work. I like handles that fit the hand, mugs that are easy to drink from, teapots that pour without dribbling, serving dishes that donít scratch tabletops. I also like my pieces to lift rather than sag, for shapes to be well defined rather than accidental- unless I want that feeling of looseness while Iím making it. And I think thatís where Iím heading next: making pieces that reflect the plasticity and fluidity of clay, that give a sense of fulness, of interior volume, both to the eye and to the hand. Stay tuned..." Jobst