Jen Allen received a BFA (2002) from the University of Alaska, Anchorage, and a MFA (2006) from Indiana University, Bloomington. From 1998-2002, she worked as a production assistant to Kris Bliss at Bliss Pottery in Anchorage, AK. In March 2008, the National Council for the Education of Ceramic Arts (NCECA) recognized Jennifer as an “Emerging Artist”. Among other awards, she was the recipient of the 2006-2007 Taunt Fellowship at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT. In addition to keeping a home studio, Jennifer currently teaches ceramic classes at West Virginia University. She lives in Morgantown, WV with her husband Shoji Satake, their two kids, Annelise and Finn and their two dogs, Billie and Ella
The following are folks that continue to push me to reach farther and learn more. None of course have been more supportive than my husband, Shoji Satake. View his website here.
Kris, mentor and dear friend, was a wholesale potter from Anchorage, Alaska. In 1998, I walked into Kris’s studio hoping to land a job as a studio assistant. Little did I know, that visit was the beginning of a lasting friendship. I worked for Kris for four years and two summers. In that time, Kris taught me the ins and outs of maintaining a career as a production potter. I will always cherish our time together. Click here to view the interview I did with Kris in 2013.
My husband and I proudly sponsor an annual National K-12 Ceramic Exhibition Award in Kris's name. The first recipient of the award, Lillie S (teacher Ramayana Baba) earned recognition for her incredible Trompe L'oeil sculpture titled Sushi Dinner.
Family of Artists
Turns out being an artist runs in the family. Pictured above is my grandfather, W. Bryan Allen who was a WWII combat photographer for the US Army and later a wildlife photographer. A couple of years ago I published an article on the Objective Clay website with additional photographs taken by my grandfather. Click here to view publication.
My aunt, Elizabeth Allen is a painter who lives and works in Vermont. The landscape painting above is titled "Stowe Village in Autumn" and the still life is titled "Signs of Spring" and features one of my pottery vases. Growing up I was always impressed by her talent. To view more of her work, please visit her website: elizabethallenfineart.com
It takes a village...
Here is a glimpse of the many ceramic teachers and mentors I've had over the years. Each one has left a lasting impression on me. I am thankful to have had the opportunity to work with each them.
Pictured: Bobby Silverman, Tom Rohr, Kris Bliss, Malcolm Mobutu Smith, Pamela Pemberton, Lisa Conway, Steve Lee, Christyl Boger, Robert Banker, Josh DeWeese, Julia Galloway, Brad Schweiger, Peter Brondz, John Goodheart, Rick Hirsch, Sinisa Kukec, Tim Mather, Steve Godfrey and Martin Tagseth.