Jonathan Grengs

Artist’s Statement

"I enjoy creating in a manner that departs from the predictability of clean and concise lines and shapes. Work that imparts a sense of movement through variation in line and form are visually exciting and encourages me to evolve my practice by exploring new approaches to design. For functional work, I prefer glaze firing my pieces in soda, salt, and wood kilns which creates earthy organic surfaces that are exciting to see and touch. The unpredictability of the intense flame distinctively marks each piece with irregularities and "imperfections" in color and surface texture as it dances and swirls around the work during the firing. Guided by this production process, I believe a successful piece is one that highlights my playful attention to form, function, and finish and thus can never be faithfully replicated. At first glance, the viewer will perceive not the whole story but an enticing fragment of it, and with each turn of the pot, the viewer is left to explore their own perceptions of its beauty and function."


Jonathan draws inspiration from his early childhood memories living near Yellowstone Park in Montana. These experiences exposed him to the raw and dynamic forces that shape our world and consequently, references to geologic time often permeate both his functional and sculptural work. After completing his Art Education degree in 2010, Jonathan refined his skills as a ceramist and educator while teaching at Carlow University for 6 years.

In 2019, he was accepted into the Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s Master of Fine Arts program. As part of his thesis research, Jonathan developed a method for introducing tiny bubbles of air into the clay creating a ceramic material he named aerated clay. He regularly shows his functional and sculptural work in national and international exhibitions.

Jonathan is currently working as a Master in Residence, a postdoctoral position at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.