Guest ceramics artist demonstrates his unique process


David Stemmle

Jason Piccoli gives a demonstration of his technique on a pottery wheel to the students of AACC

David Stemmle, Daily Editor

The Ceramics-Keramos Society hosted a visiting ceramics artist at AACC on Friday Oct. 25.

Jason Piccoli, a Ceramics artist from Denver, CO, spoke on his work and experience in his field.


In his lecture, Piccoli displayed a slide show of his work and discussed with the audience his methods, techniques and challenges.


Piccoli’s methods start with creating a unique idea for the ceramic structure. Each piece carries themes of classical art but adds a modern or fantasy-like twist to it.


Atlantis Bottle by Piccoli is a good example of this. The bottle features alien-like circular handles on its sides and an egg-like stopper on the top.

When describing the piece, Piccoli attributed his inspiration to fantasy worlds like the one’s he’d seen in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.


Piccoli combines painting and sculpture in his work by creating intricate and detailed scenes on his sculptures with pottery glaze.


These scenes range from beautiful landscapes and starry galaxies to repetitive designs and representations of architecture


Picocoli also chose to tackle controversial concepts with his art.


Piccoli’s  Forbidden Potential, another vase, opens a conversation about restrictions on the use of some substances that may have the potential to help rather than hurt human health.


The vase features a brain which appears to be in a cage made of the ceramic clay and displays designs of different chemical formulas around the body of the object.


“It’s trying to visually represent the exploration of our own brains using materials, natural plants and things,” said Piccoli in reference to his artwork. “The piece is about having the personal freedom to explore your own consciousness using psychoactive compounds in a way that you are free to do so.”


The guest artist brought with him examples of his ceramics and proceeded to lead a workshop on his techniques.


Piccoli then recreated one of his works explaining in-depth his process with a pottery wheel, a spinning table used to shape the ceramics.


The attendees were led to work on their own projects taking what they had learned from the demonstration.



“I… think that it shows how really accessible art is and specifically ceramics,” said Fran Zyla a first-year undecided student. “This artist was super approachable, super accessible… It was really helpful to see an artist like that and have that resource accessible to me”


“Having artist’s like him [visit the campus] shows that there are different ways and different techniques you can use,” said Tiffany Fowler a first year transfer studies student. “I think it’s really good knowledge to have… just as an artist truly on the surface it was valuable to me.”


Jason Piccoli adivses art students that are struggling to make it as an artist to not give up. “Just keep doing it. Don’t pay attention to how you’re doing. If you keep doing it you’ll get better at it. And when you get better at it sometimes you don’t notice. You’ll just be better at it and people will say ‘Wow you’ve come a long way.’”


[Art] “is an opportunity to be a part of a creation process of some kind…” Piccoli said. “It’s the highest expression in my opinion that humanity can offer, it’s the most genuine way one person can communicate something to another outside of language.”