Award-winner Janet Burner is a long-time local ceramics artist with over 40 years of instructional experience. After graduating from the University of Arizona, studying ceramics at Anderson Ranch, Snowmass, CO and apprenticing with Harry Holl in Dennis, MA, Janet opened her business, Sabino Stoneware Pottery. From throwing to handbuilding, to sculpting, to glazing, to firing, there isn’t anything Janet can’t show you how to do. From an Interview by Nancy Erdmann, Phoenix Home & Garden, March, 2011 Issue:
What is your art background?
While studying for a degree in microbiology, I spent time in Portugal and fell in love with art. I enrolled my senior year at the University of Arizona in fine arts, and I attended Anderson Ranch, a well-known ceramics school in Colorado. Then I met my mentor, master potter Harry Holl, and realized I wanted to be a potter and not a microbiologist. In 1973, I started Sabino Stoneware Pottery.
What inspires you?
My art is inspired by the human figure and animal forms. I love Abstract Expressionism and capturing the gesture or soul of form, smooth surfaces, color, movement and contrasts.
What is your most significant art-related achievement?
I am most proud of my work being part of the collection at the Cape Museum of Art in Massachusetts, and also the students I have taught and who have become potters and art appreciators.
What do you love most about your medium?
I love the feel of clay as it is being shaped by my hands into the vessel of my choosing. I love that my work will remain long after I have departed, and that I am part of this long-lasting and very beautiful tradition.
What’s on the horizon?
I want to produce more art and less functional pottery, enter more national shows to gain a larger audience, and travel more to seek inspiration from the world’s wonders.
Because of a small class size and many returning students, I am able to design my classes with the individual student’s interests in mind. There may be a student working on a sculpture, another glazing, a few doing a Raku firing. I am there to guide, to critique, to facilitate, to give a demonstration on the potter’s wheel, or introduce a handbuilding project; whatever is needed. My fortyfive years of experience in all aspects of ceramics is an asset.
My objective is to inspire my students to excel within their individual skill level and to give them the tools they need, through instruction, to successfully achieve their creative endeavors.
I am inspired by clay itself it’s complexity and the endless possibilities it presents. There is no end to the learning curve. I have been influenced by my own accidents and mistakes or the will of the clay. Recently, my inspiration is drawn from my love for figure drawing, animal forms, and my desert surroundings.