An Interview with Jenny Rush of Four Eyes Ceramics
They’re here! Our very special collaboration with ceramist Jenny Rush of Four Eyes Ceramics has landed and we couldn’t be more excited. We have admired and coveted Jenny’s beautiful work for years and now we have a special run of beads made by Jenny in a colorway exclusive to Modern Macramé. We are also carrying her playful, geometric Chime Kits. Imagine embellishing your wall hangings and plant hangers with these appealing gems! Each piece of pigmented porcelain is hand-crafted in Jenny’s home studio with expert care. Her sensibility is modern, whimsical and bold, creating Calder-esque compositions for adornment and decoration.
Modern Macramé's wondrous Craft Help Extraordinaire, Elspeth Vance had a chance to work on a beautiful inspiration piece (pictured below) using Jenny's beads and designed this incredible garland using our SIZE here rope in Natural and Lavender as well all four shades of the Four Eyes beads: Lavender, Terracotta, Peach and Glo.
Please note, the lighting of the photography depicts the colors differently! Head over to our product page here to see accurate color representations.
Elspeth recently chatted with Jenny about her background and creative process. Check out the interview here.
Elspeth: Tell us little about you! What is your background? Has it always been ceramics or are there other disciplines that have shaped you creatively? If so, what value is there in a varied artistic skill set?
Jenny: I have a Fine Arts degree with a concentration in painting. Prior to this, most of the work I've done is mixed media painting and drawing. While in school I took a year of ceramic handbuilding and was almost swayed, I loved it, but ended up sticking with painting. Ceramics has stayed with me though. I've always wanted to learn the wheel, started taking classes 6 or 7 years ago at a local studio, and here I am! Having a varied skill set you might see or approach things differently, it might not work but it could also be amazing! I think it can lead to some exciting outcomes or experimentation that might not happen without those varied viewpoints. With my 2D background I do tend to flatten things, but ceramics has really helped me work more 3 dimensionally.
E: Tell me a little about your beads! You have an incredible eye for color and shape. What qualities does porcelain have that make it materially appealing to you? How does the material inform your process sculpturally? How do you choose your groovy colors?
J: Clay in general has a somewhat therapeutic quality. It just feels good to squish clay in my hands. The durability of porcelain makes it a good choice for my jewelry since it's so thin. I also like the way it looks when colored with mason stains. Usually, I'll already have a color I really want to make for the next collection and then build off that. When choosing colors, I consider the season and previous colors, and I'll also consult color theory books for good combos. The beads have been a fun diversion from my jewelry, forming them using my hands as opposed to cutting out the shapes. Every material has limits but there's so much more I could do and hope to have more time to play in the future.
E: I find that the more of myself I pour into my creative life the better able I am to cope with this wonky time we find ourselves in. And at Modern Macramé we believe wholeheartedly in the therapeutic power of handcraft. What does your art practice provide you emotionally/spiritually? Are there lessons learned in the studio that can be applied to your daily life?
J: I totally agree! I went through a period where I wasn't making time for myself or for being creative, and it really took a toll on my wellbeing. When I started going to the ceramics studio, I realized how crucial it is. I can be totally present. It's important to shut those thoughts out and just create. It's amazing, but also tough when your creative outlet becomes your job. A lot of my time now is spent in production mode so I have to carve out specific time for exploration or I'm not getting that same benefit. In my daily life it's the same. There's always so much to do and I can get caught up being busy, especially with my studio inside my home, but it's just as crucial for me to leave the studio and enjoy family time.
E: What are you working on currently? What do you find yourself dreaming of making in the future?
J: I'm currently working on releasing my Fall Winter collection and building up stock for the holidays, though not as much as I normally would be. I dream of making other things all the time, the list is huge! Prior to the jewelry I was making ceramic wall pieces, and more than anything I'd like to start that up again. I also still dream of painting so that might have to happen soon.
We know that you are going to be as enchanted by these new beads as we are. To see more of Jenny’s fabulous work and to shop her jewelry collection check out her website and follow what she is up to, here. Also, stay tuned for a very special pattern that you can knot up using these brand new beads!