John, Jana

Ceramics - Decorative and functional ceramic

Working out of my studio at home, I hand-build pottery, both decorative and functional, using terra cotta clay. I use slab construction, rolling out the clay with a rolling pin and cutting out my shapes freehand.

Background: In January 2000, I moved to Louisville, Ky., from Jackson, Mississippi where I had lived since 1983. I am a native of Oklahoma and have worked at newspapers in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Kentucky. My husband, Butch John, and I now work for The Courier-Journal in Louisville. The rest of my family includes our cats — Munch, G'Kar, Dot and Slugger. I am a co-owner of Gallery Janjobe at the Mellwood Arts & Entertainment Center in Louisville.

I have been a member of the Craftsmen's Guild of Mississippi Inc. since 1995, and I am now a member of the Louisville Artisans Guild and the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen. I also am a juried participant in the Kentucky Craft Marketing Program.

Clay masks are my specialty. My signature pieces have a cat motif. I make cat-shaped masks, platters, bowls, spoonrests and pins. The cat preoccupation comes from my love of cats. I find cats have a lot of personality, which I try to capture in my designs. Other masks belong to the "My Women" series. They're an exploration of the many faces and personalities of women.