Janna Siebert: Ceramic Artist

Artist Statement

Janna maintains two bodies of work: sculptural and functional.

As I was growing up, I helped many of my peers who struggled academically and socially; I wanted them to have a voice how ever small it might be. My current work carries the same philosophy; I want to invite the viewers to look inward in our age of outer space exploration and see the microorganisms that are foreign to us, here on this beautiful planet.

With a background in nursing and microbiology I use clay to construct pollen and virus molecules as well as dust particles, combining both throwing and handbuilding techniques. While building I magnify the microscopic architectural structure to draw attention to the details that express their voice. In a way, I humanize them.

As a person fascinated by science, I strive to understand my world through observation and contemplation. My intention is to have my work become the bridge where the viewers can turn inward and start a dialogue within themselves and become aware of the world which we live in.

I am intrigued by the stories my functional work will lead once they leave my studio. The connection between my work and the consumers engages me in the process of making. The inspiration for the functional work comes from my love for food and the conversations associate with it.

All my work starts with the sketches. Most of them start on the wheel, and through various stages I dart and cut, alter, and stretch the work to achieve forms that are unique and whimsical. My desire to enrich the ritual of food consumption motivates me to marry the form and surface to create inviting and fun ceramics that encourage conversation, and self-reflection in a fast paced and mundane world.


Janna was born and raised in Taiwan, where ceramics is considered one of the most exalted arts. She lives and works in Orem, Utah. She is a BFA student at the Brigham Young University, with an emphasis on ceramics. She maintains two bodies of work: sculptural and utilitarian work. She uses mid-range porcelain clay body to construct sculpture containing virus, pollen molecules as well as dust particles because of her background in nursing and fascination in microbiology. The inspiration for the functional wares comes from growing up and working in the family restaurant and a desire to encourage conversation whenever food is consumed. Janna combines throwing and handbuilding techniques for both sculptural and functional works; the process then is to alter the form by darting, stretching, addition and alteration. All of Janna's work is fired in an electric kiln using the glazes she develops.


I work with mid-range porcelain for both functional ware and sculptural work because of the cleanness and whiteness of clay.

My work all starts on the wheel. After forming on the wheel, I work in a way much like a sewing project on the sewing machine. I alter the pieces by darting, cutting and joining extra pieces, and then I combine handbuilding to achieve the shape according to my sketchbook. For sculptural work, I join all thrown forms together to compose virus, pollen and dust particles.

I "draw" on the clay body when it is leather hard. I then fill in the drawn lines with black undergraze. When the ware is bone dry I bisque it to cone 04. Then I glaze the ware using glazes I developed. Afterwards I fire everything in an electric kiln to cone 6, which is about 2232°F. I usually fire and cool slowly to encourage crystallization of the silica, since I believe it produces brighter colors and greater dimensional in functional wares.


Brigham Young University, Provo Utah-BFA student 2011-2014


  • "Exchange" Group Exhibition. Fall Semester 2013
  • Mayhew Exhibition. Winter Semester 2013
  • Bowls For Humanity. March 2013
  • Faculty Invitation Exhibition. Fall Semester 2012
  • "Just Desert" Student Exhibition. Winter Semester 2012
  • Mayhew Exhibition. Winter Semester 2012
  • Mayhew Exhibition. Winter Semester 2011
  • "Mudshow". Fall Semester 2011


  • Talent Award Scholarship recipient. Winter Semester 2012
  • "Talent Award" recipient Fall Semester 2011
  • Talent Award Scholarship recipient Fall Semester 2011
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