The curved, gestural forms and soft coloured surfaces of Janet Keefe’s pots make them distinctly recognizable. Using a coil-building technique, she is able to achieve gesture, tension and subtlety in vessels with expressive shapes that often seem to defy the realm of possibility.
Carefully attaching together coils of clay is her preferred way of constructing pots. She says, “It facilitates the slow building of each piece and allows the forms to swell and grow, often asymmetrically.” Using sinuous line to delineate and emphasize movement and transitions, she thoughtfully develops relationships between the exterior and interior of each piece.
Keefe’s art education was at Epsom College of Art and Design in England and private studios in Paris where she discovered the marvelous possibilities inherent in clay. She has shared her knowledge through workshops and demonstrations for children and adults, and participated in many regional and local art shows, fairs and exhibitions.
Janet has also studied Ikebana (Sogetsu School) for many years and uses its main principles in her current work: emphasis on line, mass and negative space.
Since returning to her studio in South Glengarry, the work has developed more idiosyncrasy and strength. The forms, colours and textures of her pots are clearly influenced by the quiet countryside, plants, rocks, trees and birds which surround her. By her hands, these singular pieces become beautiful and compelling entities with personalities derived from her location in the world, her knowledge of clay and her own life experience.