My ceramic forms are hand built by pinching and coiling, or wheel thrown and altered. I make individual pieces – mostly vessels, non-functional bowls and hollow forms, the surfaces of which have been scratched, layered, textured and burnished echoing the actions of weathering over time on the natural landscape features which are my inspiration.
My concerns are with the balance of the piece – allowing it to tilt or lean and yet remain standing – emphasizing its fragility and also its strength. The rim is the focal point, defining its shape, causing the eye to be drawn into the depths of the inner space. Contrasting inner and outer surface treatments connect at the edges which may roll over gently or peak precipitously, the interior space catches light and colour which, when tilted, spill like liquid over the rim, the exterior wall wrapping around the space like a skin or shell.
The motifs drawn on the outer surface of my pieces are based on a fossil called graptolite (Gr. graptos – written, lithos – rock). Shoals of graptolites swam in warm shallow seas millions of years ago. When they are revealed trapped in layers of shale – they are still in the same formation – frozen in a moment of time.
It is the movement of the ‘shoal’ that I use as the motif to swirl around my pieces and also use the word in my titles.
The larger pieces are painted with coloured slips, wax and oxides, burnished on the smooth areas and fired to cone 04.
The smaller porcelain forms have sgraffito or wax markings covered by coloured slips under a transparent shiny or matt white glaze and fired in an oxidising kiln to cone 9.
Broadway Modern, Broadway, Worcestershire
Her early training in mould making and industrial techniques combined with a skillful throwing ability prepared the ground for a sophisticated approach to the method of hand building for which Jenny is now known.
In the early 90’s Jenny began exploring the use of a very pliable porcelain, throwing and pinching individual small vessels which formed the basis for her larger hand built pieces, one of which was selected for the international ‘Fletcher Challenge’ competition, Auckland, New Zealand in 1994 and another for the ‘Millenium Platter’ exhibition at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia in 2000.
These larger vessels explore the theme of organic abstraction, combining three dimensional sculptural elements with surface texture and drawing.
Jenny Morten is a British ceramicist, trained at the Central School of Art and Design in London.
Her work has covered the spectrum of clay. As co-founder and partner in J&G Ceramic Design she made functional stoneware and designed for industry soon after attaining her degree with many pieces selected for British Design Centre Awards.
A teaching career followed including visiting lecturer for Kensington Institute, Bishop Auckland College and finally as Course leader of the Ceramics Department at Darlington College in the North of England.
As Artist- in- Residence for Bowes Museum, Jenny worked with eight Darlington schools, creating tiled wall mural installations based on Museum exhibitions.
Jenny relocated to the USA in 2003 with her husband Geoff. Following his death in 2009, Jenny returned to England in 2012, initially to Cornwall for one year before moving to East Yorkshire where she now lives and works.
Born in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham
1965-67 Foundation Course - York School of Art and Design.
1967-70 Central School of Art and Design, London - BA
1968 Awarded the Queen Mary Scholarship at Central School
1998 University of Huddersfield - PGCE
2003-2012 Moved to California, USA
2000-2003 Part time tutor in Visual Arts, Darlington Arts Centre.
2001-2002 Artist in Residence: Bowes Museum, Co. Durham
1998-2000 Artist in Residence: Northern Arts - Artists into Schools; Millenium Project - Darlington, Co. Durham
1994-99 Course Leader of Ceramics at Darlington College.
1995-96 Artist in Residence: Tilery Primary School, Stockton on Tees.
1992–93 Artist in Residence: Allensway Adult Training Centre, Thornaby, Stockton, Cleveland.
1990-94 Lecturer at : Bishop Auckland College, Co. Durham
1980-89 Commissioned works and free-lance designer; Opened workshop in Richmond, North Yorkshire.
1976-88 Free-Lance Designer for : Rising Hawk Ltd, Stoke on Trent; S. Fielding & Co. Ltd (Crown Devon); J & G. Meakin (Wedgwood Group); Silver Crane Company; The Tea Council Ltd. London; Audley Porcelain, Stoke on Trent; South West Ceramics Ltd. Devon; Wade Ceramics Ltd. (Royal Victoria Potteries) Burslem.
1970-76 South Kensington Institute, London. Forest Hill Institute,London
1972 Opened first workshop in South East London.
1970 Production thrower for Kate Weaver Potteries, London.
1988 Ikeda Ceramics, Japan;(Product Design).
1986 The Tea Council of Great Britain;(Product Design).
1982 Parker Pen Company; (Product Design).
1982 Milk Marketing Board; (Competition Prizewinner).
1974 St. Ivel/Charles Barker Lyons; (Advertising Design).
1972 J. Walter Thompson; (Advertising Design).
1992 Northern Arts Awards to Craftspeople (individual).
1982 Received 3 Design Centre Awards.
1981 Received 3 Design Centre Awards.
2015 (March - April ) 'Parallel Journeys' - Jenny and Geoff Morten, New School House Gallery, York.
2014 (August - October) 'Full Circle' - Jenny and Geoff Morten paintings, prints and ceramics. Gallery 49, Bridlington, East Yorkshire.
2007 ‘Pacific Rim’- Government Center, Santa Cruz CA. March – April 2007
2005 ‘Caught off Balance’ - Nido Gallery, Moss Landing, Monterey, CA
2004 ‘Towards the Edge’ Monterey Peninsula Art Gallery, CA, USA
2002 ‘Scratching the Surface’ (Porcelain and Stoneware 2000 - 2002) touring exhibition: Myles Meehan Gallery, Darlington Art Centre. Feb - March 2002; The Customs House Gallery, South Shields, Tyne & Wear. November 2002.
1999 ‘Crossing Borders” - (porcelain and raku). Galleria 28, Timisoara, Romania
1997 ‘Ceramic Works’ - (ceramics and watercolours) Durham Art Gallery, Co.Durham
1994-5 ‘Double Visions’ - (ceramics and drawings) - Myles Meehan Gallery, Darlington
1979 Harvest Gallery, Covent Garden, London
1975 Bruce Scott Gallery, London
2016 (October) East Yorkshire Open Studios
2016 (September) Ceramic Art York
2016 (March - May) 'MADE 'Spring Showcase at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield
2015 (September ) Ceramic Art York
2006–2007 ‘Time and Place/Then and Now’ – Museum of Art and History, Santa Cruz, CA
2006 ‘The Practiced Eye’, Galeria Tonantzin, San Juan Bautista, CA.
2006 ‘Santa Cruz Clay’, Santa Cruz Pottery, CA.
2005 ‘Form and Function’, Santa Cruz Mountain Art Center, CA.
2004 ‘Plein Aire Painters’, Institute for Contemporary Arts, Santa Cruz, Ca. USA
2002 ‘Spoil’ Stroud House Gallery, Stroud, Gloucester.
2000 ‘The Millenium Platter International Exhibition’, Ceramic Art Gallery, Sydney, Australia.
2000 ‘Inspired Choices’ - CPA selected Exhibition, Morley Gallery, London.
2000 ‘Designer Crafts 2000’ - Mall Galleries, London.
1999 ‘Northern Potters 99’, Turton Towers, Bolton, Lanc’s.
1999 ‘Pots to Give and Take’ - Mercer Gallery, Harrogate, Yorks
1998 ‘Out of the Kiln’ Selected N.P.A. Exhibition - York City Art Gallery.
1998 ‘Layers of Meaning’ (two person exhibition) Dial Gallery, Warkworth,
1997 ‘JAR’ , Seagate Gallery, Dundee, Scotland.
1997 ‘Party Pieces’ Craft Potters Association, The Art Connoisseur Gallery, London.
1996 ‘Double Exposure’, (Two person exhibition) Dial Gallery, Warkworth,
1996 ‘Invited Northern Potters’ , Harley Gallery, Nottingham
1996 Tilery Residency - Exhibition of Mural, Stockton Library, Teesside.
1996 Hartlepool Gallery, County Durham.
1995-6 ‘Blowing Hot and Cold’ -Crescent Arts Gallery, Scarborough, N. Yorks.
1994 Collins Gallery - University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
1994 Tullie House Gallery, Carlisle, Cumbria
1994 Cleveland Craft Centre - Allensway Residency Exhibition
1993/4 Tullie House Gallery, Carlisle, Cumbria
1993 ‘Fletcher Challenge Ceramics Award Exhibition’, Auckland Institute and Museum, Auckland, New Zealand
1993 ‘Society of Designer/Craftsmen’, Mercer Gallery, Harrogate, N.Yorks
1992 Tullie House Gallery, Carlisle, Cumbria
1992 Mercer Gallery, Harrogate, North Yorkshire
1992 Finegold Contemporary Art Gallery, Yorks
1991 Ladygate Gallery, Beverley, East Yorkshire
1984 ‘The British Show’ Neiman Marcus, Dallas, Texas, USA
1983 Design Centre, Touring Exhibition,Glasgow, Scotland
1982 Design centre touring Exhibition, Wales
1981 Design Centre, London
1976 CT Strangeways Gallery, London
1975 CT Strangeways Gallery, London
1974 CT Strangeways Gallery, London
1970 ‘New Graduate Show’, British Crafts Centre, London
2003 National Directory Database of CPA members.
2002 ‘Scratching the Surface’ solo exh. cat., (ISBN : 0 9537690 1 1)
1999 ‘Insemne Dintr-o-Galerie’. Marie-Jeanne Badescu, Galleria 28, Timisoara, Romania. Published by Editura Hestia, Romania.
1999 ‘British Studio Potters’ Marks’, E. Yates-Owen & R. Fournier A&C. Black, London
1993 Fletcher Challenge Award Catalogue (New Zealand).
1992 ‘Novelty Teapots - five hundred years of art and design’ - Edward Bramah. Pub. Quiller Press Ltd.1992 ISBN 1 870948-72-6
1987 CBI News - feature.
1986 Home & Country Magazine (USA).
1981-4 Design Centre Gift Buyers Guide.
1981 Daily Telegraph - feature.
1980 Financial Times - feature.
Victoria and Albert Museum - Contemporary Ceramics Collection.
J. Sainsbury Plc.
The Tea House, Covent Garden, London.
Ikeada Ceramics, Tokyo, Japan.
University of Sunderland.
Galleria 28, Timisoara, Romania.
Powerhouse Museum, Sydney, Australia.
Darlington Borough Council.
Stoke-on-Trent Pottery Museum and Art Gallery