2 ceramicists with vivid illustration


Larger than life characters entwined with nature, animals, striking imagery, channeling  the mystical and subconscious, all mixed with a lucid clarity, are some of the recurring themes that Jessie Mooy and Jenny Mendes both use in the decorative styles of their art. Both artists create expressive figures, Jenny Mendes using edgy, innocent and mischievous looking humans and animals that look like they belong in a children’s story that’s waiting to unfold, while Jessie’s figures reflect a soulful nobility and interact with botanical decorations.



Jessie Mooy, France


Born in Amsterdam, Jessie emigrated with her parents to South Africa when she was a child. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Pretoria, specializing in painting, then went on to study sculpture techniques at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth. Since 2009 she has been living and working in the Dordogne in France, famous for its cave art and Romanesque churches. Her studio Atelier la Tour des Bidoux is situated in a Medieval Archer’s Tower near Riberac.



3-girls-raku-Jessie Mooy

 Three girls dancing – raku sculpture – Jessie Mooy


‘In my art, the image of woman functions as a counterforce to all forms of alienation, especially alienation from nature and from the spiritual, by virtue of the fact that woman is depicted as a life-giving earth mother or as a custodian of all life in nature. In my ceramic work my continued interest in the creative aspect of the earth, plants and all its creatures has always been evident, not only in the medium, but also in the formal variety e.g. vessels become flowers, handles and rims of vases become leaves. My interest in the female form becomes part of a vessel to express oneness with nature. My ongoing study of the ancient art of Egypt and Greece reflects all these above-mentioned interests. There is a beauty that transcends the temporary in the art of these cultures. I try to achieve the same timelessness.’


‘Living in a world devoid of spiritual aspirations and where the importance of material interests is stressed, I believe that the female is the natural medium to invoke an order to guard the great mysteries of the unknown. She has to weave together the reality of our conscious life and the mystical, intuitive and divine part of ourselves which is an element of nature.’


 Ceramist-in-Riberac-(French) - Jessie Mooy

Vase featuring female head – Jessie Mooy



1994-two_ladies_in_an_architectural_setting_h_50cm - Jessie Mooy

 Two women and a dog in architectural setting – ceramic sculpture by Jessie Mooy

Height 51cm – 1994




 Raku bust on marble base – Jessie Mooy



2003-moondance -Jessie Mooy

 ‘Moondance’ – Minoan style dish plaque – Jessie Mooy





 Jessie Mooy ceramic workshop




 Jessie Mooy



figurine-candelabrum-raku-Jessie Mooy

 Raku figurine bust candelabrum – Jessie Mooy




harlequin-rider-big-oval-plate Harlequin-Cavalier,-oval-plate.-Raku

 Harlequin Cavalier riding a horse – large oval plate by Jessie Mooy




harmony figurine by Jessie Mooy

 ‘Harmony’  – Jessie Mooy



Woman with black birds vase by Jessie Mooy

 Jessie Mooy vase




harlequin-rider-Jessie Mooy

   Harlequin riding a horse – Jessie Mooy




Jessie Mooy Vase.-Eva in the forest.-earthenware.-2013

‘Eva in the forest’ Jessie Mooy Vase earthenware






 ‘Mother & Child’ – Jessie Mooy



oquerico,-Villebois-Lavalette,-France Botanical decorated vase

 Twin handled vase with botanical decoration – jessie Mooy





Lady with birds decorative plate – Jessie Mooy




female flute player Jessie Mooy

 Dancing female with flute – Jessie Mooy




queen-raku bust Jaeaaie Mooy

 ‘Queen’ – raku bust – Jessie Mooy




Lady-with-hat vase Jessie Mooy

 ‘Lady with Hat’ twin handled vase – Jessie Mooy


 40cm-raku-sculptures Lucia and Bijou

Lucia and Bijou’ – Raku cat sculptures by Jessie Mooy






Vase-Bidoux JEssie Mooy

Vase with  female face motif – Jessie Mooy


Jessie’s website




Jenny Mendes, Ohio USA


Jenny Mendes received her BFA in Ceramics from Washington University in St. Louis. She also did residencies at The Resen Ceramics Colony in Resen, Macedonia, and Penland School of Crafts, North Carolina. Jenny draws on mythology and folk art as her premise, using figurative imagery, both human and animal to create charismatic stories of a much larger scale



Jenny Mendes vases - 1995

Hand sculpted Bird Vases – Jenny Mendes


‘Using clay as my primary material, I have found an entry way into my subconscious. I work intuitively with a palate comprised of many things. First I create a structure which I overlay with painted patterns of emotional experience, sensory based memories, cellular formations, and other discoveries. Working within a human/animal narrative, I engage in a dialogue that witnesses and reflects an invitation into my world.’


‘I love to draw on anything but especially clay. Discovering the pleasure of drawing on and into a bone dry clay tile was illuminating for me. This soft subtractive way of drawing leads me into my subject in a way that drawing on paper never has. I don’t think my process is the most exciting thing to watch. Probably the [most] interesting [part of my process] is when a mysterious image comes to me from where I know not’.  – from an article on Terra Sigillata Clay Tile Painting by Jenny Mendez at Ceramic Arts Daily.




Jenne Mendes vase

 Cylindrical hand built vase – Jenny Mendes



Ceramic Pottery Dessert Plate---Popsicle Delight

  Dessert Plate—‘Popsicle Delight’ – Jenny Mendes





‘ Two Face Cat Cup’ – Jenny Mendes




Jenny with dog

 Jenny Mendes




Ceramic Dessert Plate---Bunnys Been Busy

‘Bunny’s Been Busy’ –  Ceramic Dessert Plate—Jenny Mendes




Ceramic-vases-by-Jenny Mendes-Imaginative Bloom

‘Imaginative Bloom’ ceramic vases by Jenny Mendes




Cup---Ceramic-Tumbler Jenny Mendes

 Ceramic Tumbler – Jenny Mendes





 ‘Protector’ – oval platter – Jenny Mendes



Flower-Vase---In The Vines

‘In The Vines’  – Flower vase—Jenny Mendes




Hand built and painted ceramic tumbler

 Hand painted ceramic tumbler – Jenny Mendes



Ceramic-charger - Jenny Mendes

 Hand painted plate – Jenny Mendes




Jenny Mendes ceramic plate

 Masked person motif plate – Jenny Mendes




Oval bowl handpainted girl - Jenny Mendes

 Abstract oval bowl – Jenny mendes




girl figure tumbler- Jenny Mendes

 Jenny Mendes tumbler




For-The-Love-Of-Cats---Pinch-Bowl by jenny Mendes

 Jenny Mendes  ‘For The Love Of Cats’ —Pinch Bowl




Polychrome tumbler - Jenny mendes

 Jenny Mendes tumbler



Jenny-Mendes--egg cups

 Jenny Mendes



Jenny Mendes -Diamond Head

‘Diamond Head’  bowl – Jenny Mendes




Jenny-Mendes--polychrome duck

 Handpainted ceramic duck – Jenny mendes




Jenny-Mendes abstract faces tumbler

 Abstract faces cup – Jenny Mendes




Girl swimming with dolphins plate - jenny mendes

 Decorative plate – girl swimming with dolphins – Jenny mendes




Diamond Head ceramic shakers

‘All Eight Faces’ – Salt and Pepper Shakers – Jenny Mendes



Tile of girl in forest

 ‘Fern Garden’ ceramic tile – Jenny Mendes




Jenny-Mendes---ceramic-sculpture-spotty monkey

 Jenny Mendes—ceramic sculpture spotted monkey




Yellow-Plate Jenny Mendes

Jenny Mendes plate –  Woman holding mask surrounded by leaves


Jenny’s website

Etsy –  https://www.etsy.com/shop/jennymendes

Follow her blog at http://www.jennymendes.blogspot.com



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  1. Helmut Hauser
    Posted February 15, 2015 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Beautiful work, colors and designs.

  2. Gabriela Amsler
    Posted August 17, 2015 at 3:19 am | Permalink

    One of the best ceramics I have ever seen. Very inventive, beautiful colors. Congratulation.

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