ANA MARIA HERNANDEZ JENSEN
Spanish-born potter Ana Maria Hernandez Jensen's ceramics are simple, deceptively so. Simplicity and functionality in perfect tandem make for great design, and beauty. Achieving this duality is not as easy as it looks - Ana Jensen has been hard at work perfecting such balance for many years.
Her hand-thrown domestic ware, made locally, is indicative of her cultural background which values clean contemporary lines. Jensen performs all aspects of the ceramics process, from forming to firing, to distribution, overseeing all stages to ensure high standards are met consistently.
‘My education in ceramics began in Denmark where I undertook a traineeship as a potter. The emphasis of this training was on production throwing, demanding the development of a high degree of skill on the potter's wheel.The traineeship also took me to England and France, including a time at La Borne pottery village. This gave me exposure to a wide variety of studio practices and methods of firing.’
Jensen’s work, to this writer’s eye, has a kinship to that of ceramicist Phil Elson, a North Central Victorian potter who began his career with clay at the CAE around Eltham in 1981. What seems common to each, beyond the simplicity and functionality of their work, is an attachment to place, which makes sense, given the weighty commitment to kiln, supplies and tools in a particular area. Ceramics is generally a grounded practice. Jensen’s Instagram images hint at her appreciation of this factor – the context of her workplace features sheep and sheepdog: the soft and the ceramic come together to create contentment.
In the context of WINDOWSPACE, Jensen’s clear functionality offsets the roving curiosity of Georgia Harvey’s ceramics (see entry for WINDOWSPACE April 2016 - http://windowspace-beeac.blogspot.com/2016/04/2016-3-georgia-harvey-2-30-april-2016.html )
Together, Jensen and Harvey, along with Rex Ashworth (WINDOWSPACE June 2018 - http://windowspace-beeac.blogspot.com/2018/06/bernadette-daly-and-rex-ashworth-june.html ) - give a comprehensive feel for what constitutes ceramics.