Jamie Zane Smith
Jamie Zane Smith is a nephew of Richard Zane Smith, who has taught him his delicate style of coil building pottery. He was featured in Native People’s Magazine as one of Four Emerging potters to watch. Jamie Zane Smith, a tribal descendant of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas, looks to his Native American roots for artistic inspiration. After receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts from Western New Mexico University in 2008, He moved his family to Wyandotte, Oklahoma to apprentice with his Uncle, who has always been Jamie’s childhood hero. Within a year Jamie was creating ceramic vessel forms utilizing hand building techniques passed down for generations in ancient times. Also passed down was knowledge about harvesting local clay and paint. These indigenous methods are unique and demanding. Jamie enjoys the process and feels connected to the land from which he harvests and wishes that his art can speak for the land and traditions. In Jamie’s own words:
“Family traditions are crucial and tie us to an indigenous past that may seem small but is so important. The small streams are just as essential as the largest river. The smallest branches on a tree still serve the tree and they are one”
Jamie moved to The Ozarks in 2009. His wife has roots here and they both feel a connection to the land. Raising their three daughters at the headwaters of The Courtois Creek seems to be a calling they take seriously.
Jamie uses wooden hand carved stamps impressed in the clay creating patterns that catch the eye. Some of the fine art creates an optical illusion for the viewer. Jamie talks about his technique:
“stamps are a vehicle used on the surface of the ceramic vessel and repeat on the piece throughout and symbolize a cosmological interpretation of a view of reality and how we perceive the world around us.”
He spends many hours on each stamp. Each stamp represents a pattern in nature or an idea. He has a connection with the many hardwood stamps and usually doesn’t sell them. One stamp could be used on a whole series of work and then never used again!
Jamie has also been experimenting with a stoneware series. Most of these pieces are functional forms with stamp design. Some of the bowls have local bark impressions on the surface and were made with a nonelectric treadle wheel. These pots will be fired in a high firewood kiln made by potter and friend Rob Bowness. Jamie says,
“Using stoneware is allowing me to engage with more local potters. Working with a group of artist gives me energy and inspiration”