About Jessica Murphy
I am the potter, educator, and mother behind Oakdale Pottery.
I work with both porcelain and stoneware clays, through a combination of wheel-throwing and hand-pinching techniques. My most recent body of work uses cobalt oxide to interpret wetland imagery on porcelain pots, in a style inspired by traditional delftware pottery.
Wetland ecosystems are, for many people, among the least desirable landscapes. Still, they are critical to processing natural and man-made waste. Apart from their role as habitat for countless migratory birds and other biodiversity, wetlands mitigate flooding, filter water, and recharge aquifers. My work focuses on wetlands because of the important ecosystem services they provide, and endeavors to bring attention to their beauty and critical role in our environment.
Each piece of Oakdale Pottery is hand-crafted, meticulously painted with oxide washes, and then glazed. I then load them all into the kiln and the rest of the process is largely out of my hands. The clay shrinks and moves as it transforms from clay to ceramic, and the glazes run just a little bit as they melt. The finished work feels completely new when I unload the kiln. In my pottery, I try to find a balance between a careful structure and fluid surface. I like to make cleanly crafted, neat work, but I also love the movement and personality of pinched pottery.
I landed in Poughkeepsie in 2014 while finishing my MFA at SUNY New Paltz. Since then, my husband and I purchased our first home here on Oakdale Avenue, and were joined by our son Jeremy. I have an MFA in Ceramics from SUNY New Paltz, and a BS in Environmental Science from Allegheny College. I have previously taught ceramics at Women's Studio Workshop, SUNY New Paltz, and Kingston Ceramic Studio.
I currently teach at Dutchess Community College and Fall Kill Creative Works.