Today I present snippets of the back story of  Brian R. Jones, ceramic artist and podcaster. 
Brian is featured here, in the Emerging Artist
Report, not because he was a 2012 NCECA Emerging Artist, but because it was his podcast that inspired me to conduct the interviews that will later be published here. I have to say that Brian's genuine, pessimistic nature exposed in the posdcast is endearing. I immediately felt that I knew Brian for a long time and  his honesty and directness helps the conversation to stay very real.

Brian and I share a distant lineage- our roots going back to the Floyd, Virginia potters. Brian apprenticed with Silvie Granatelli and I with Donna Polseno and Richard Hensley.

My main goal was to hear all about the podcast, the origin of it, the perks, and the process....

After grad school, Brian began his life in Portland, Oregon with a job as meter-reader for gas company. With daily listening to comedy podcasts he began listening to Mark Maron's podcast, WTF.  Marc's story was of stardom and unemployment but the real inspiration was  how he rebuilt his comedy career with his podcast. A solo mission. This helped to put things into perspective for Brian who calls himself a "pessimist by nature."

Brian's personal/economic relationship with Maron is ongoing- beginning with when he gave him a custom mug featuring a decal of Maron's cats. Now Maron buys batches of mugs and gifts them away exclusively to special guests. Morgan Sperlock directs the show, “A Day in The Life” in the 1st episode features Maron holding Brian's mug!

Brian was also looking at Ayumi Horie and the success of her website and Pots in Actionan on-going community project that documents how her pots are used.  One of Brians best attributes, and it is so clearly apparent, is honesty. He "wears the truth on sleeve no matter who talking to."  He spoke of the layers of things that one does and how the layers stack up into a "sandwich of identity". Questioning, conversing, researching, drawing, building, and making pots can all can be an intellectual exercise.

Something I appreciate most about the Jonescast is the diversity (within limits) of people he interviews and the insider's perspective.  Lisa Naples (potter), Jeff Guido (director of The Clay Studio), Simon Levin (potter), Garth Johnson (Craft-ivist), Chris Amundsen (American Craft Council Executive Director), Robbie Lobell (Cook on Clay), are a few of the individuals he has interviewed. In a way he is stacking up the interviews into a "sandwich of possibilities", and when the sandwich is cut, we can identify each layer as an approach to success in the field.

 

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Masthead Credits

Alison Bailey, "Soothing Cactus"

Materials: hand dyed and commercial fabric, brass, and embroidery thread
Dimensions: 11” x 11” x 3”

Alison's profile on crafthaus.

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