Julie Myoko Terestman grew up in New York City and was enthralled as a child with the Museum of Natural History and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Early on I regularly encountered objects, both historical and contemporary, with extraordinary transformative power from around the world," Terestman writes. "These objects provided doorways to other worlds, and so became vehicles of travel through space and time. This experience of internal travel was for me a means of psychic survival. And so my deep love for and relationship with pottery began."
Terestman began college as a religion major, but soon became more interested in making pots. She studied briefly in Ireland before enrolling in art school at the Program in Artisanry at Boston University, where she studied with Rick Hirsch and Chris Gustin. She continued her studies with Graham Marks at the Cranbrook Academy of Art and received her MFA there.
She maintains a pottery studio in Jersey City and has taught at Greenwich House Pottery, the West Side YMCA and Kingsborough College. She has practiced at the Village Zendo since 1993, and is also a licensed massage therapist.
Myoko's artist statement:
"Among many other things, making pottery is a constant process of rediscovering and reinventing the familiar. It is filled with paradox. Nothing is both more accessible and yet subtle than a good pot. I find it endlessly intriguing that something so seemingly simple can hold so much depth.
"Because of the vast history of ceramics, pottery is imbued with the tremendous power of association and memory. This power resonates further because of the pot's direct relationship to our unconscious through the sensual intimacy of use and emotional intimacy of its presence in the home. There is an endless pool of personal and historical references to draw from in making and experiencing a pot, allowing it to move freely through time and place. Decoration is one way that I suggest the character or metaphor of the pot, leading me to play with ways in which it can transform or transport form. The relationships between surface and form can suggest a specific place or period of time, or evoke different ones at once moving the object through memory and time into the realm of imagination.
"For me, the act of making is a means of travel. In each pot, I try to capture a moment, or a sense of somewhere I've been or imagined, something I've seen or felt, or somewhere I'd like to go. While the journey may at first seem to be in the past, looking for something remembered or familiar, it inevitably leads somewhere new. This subtle gap—between the familiar and the unknown—is a mysterious place. It is this space that a pot can give pause to moments of contemplation, moments that usually quickly and quietly slip by unnoticed. With attention, these moments can reveal the beauty and possibility in our ordinary life. I hope my work can help to remind myself and others to appreciate just this."
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