Jenny Pope aka JPOPstudios
Jenny Pope is a full time artist living in Ithaca NY and traveling on weekends all over the country selling her art. Her work has ecological themes ranging from unique animals on islands to the woodpeckers of her backyard. Jenny depends on books and friends for information and strange tales that inspire her images. Her favorite authors include David Quammen and Mary Roach who write beautifully about science and the oddness of the natural world. She makes both woodcuts and ceramics.
Color-reduction woodcuts are a way to get multiple colors in a print using only one block. Each color is carved away and then printed with a hand crank etching press. First Jenny starts by drawing an image onto a piece of MDF. Then she carves away the areas where the white will show through, rolls up the block with the first color and prints 12 on paper. Then carves away the first color rolls up the block with the second color and prints it on top of the first perfectly aligned. When finished, all that is left of the block is the last color printed, usually a dark color. The blocks get pretty chewed up in the process, so the editions are very limited and valuable. Once she sells out of all the originals, she also makes reproductions and really cool wooden coasters.
Her clay pieces are one of a kind, hand painted, and hand carved. She became a ceramicist after her friend and fantastic clay artist Colleen McCall invited her to paint a platter. Jenny was hooked after that platter and ended up going to Colleen's studio almost every Wednesday for a year soaking up all that she could. The process for the clay work is make a painting, wax the piece, carve lines, and inlay glaze. The technical terms are “sgraffito” (carving) and “mishima” (the wax and inlaid glaze.)
The past 3 years have been busy for Jenny. She became a ceramicist as well as a mom. Her 20 month old toddler is an almost constant presence in her home studio. Chattering and playing with toys as she carves, packs, ships, prints and paints. She counts her lucky stars that she has 2 studios. One for printmaking in the home and one for ceramics outside fondly nicknamed, “The Clay Shack.” Though it's really not a shack with it's wood ceiling and bright blue floor. Before having a kid she knew she needed a space where she could get away, the clay shack has been perfect for that, just a hop, skip and a jump from the front door but a world away from what happens indoors with daddy and the baby.