Indiana Artisan potter Jennie DiBeneditto jokes how she was destined to work with dirt. An introductory clay class she took for fun opened new doors for the math and science whiz, who was in her third year majoring in civil engineering at the University of Louisville on a full-ride scholarship.
“There is something wonderful about taking a lump of clay and turning it into a functional piece of pottery that can be used every day,” Jennie says. “I am also amazed by the diversity of work that can be created from clay. Delicate porcelain cups to massive outdoor sculptures.
“Working with clay allows me to get my hands dirty and still have a surface where I can carve intricate designs and compositions,” she adds.
Jennie’s work stands out due to her technique, color palette, pattern selection and the bright white earthenware she throws or hand builds. She uses sgraffito — which in Italian means “to scratch” — to carve or scratch her way through a layer of underglaze to reveal the clay body underneath.
“I love color and pattern and the joy they can bring. My work brings them together in unique pieces that can be used every day,” she says.
She pulls design ideas from a wide range of sources, including microscopic cellular structures, wildflowers, textile designs and architectural details.
“I especially love creating large platters and low serving bowls that offer a blank canvas for my colorful patterning,” Jennie says. “I want the hand of the maker to be seen and felt by the hand of the user.”
Jennie crossed the Ohio River after college and fell in love with Jeffersonville, Indiana, opening DiBeneditto Studio within a mile of the waterway. She finds southern Indiana compliments her passion for art, entrepreneurship and community building.
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