Jay Pastorello is a ceramic artist based in Cambridge, MA. He previously worked as a ceramic tech/teaching assistant at Harvard University and currently teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jay‘s work is deeply influenced by Brother Thomas Bezanson, whose innovative approach to ceramic art inspires Jay to continue to push the boundaries of the genre.
Jay first developed a connection to clay as a teenager. As he explored the paradox of the medium, intrigued by its sheer fragility yet surprising resilience, he found himself completely immersed in the process as the act of creation developed into a meditative experience. Over time, working with the clay became akin to “being underwater,” silencing both interior and exterior chatter and allowing Jay to focus on his relationship with the earth in his hands.
As this relationship grew, it became more complex, compelling Jay to question his role in this ancient discipline and forcing him to relinquish control, to compromise, and to allow for some level of chaos. Soon, Jay discovered the beauty in this chaos and as his relationship with the clay became more balanced, he began to explore the idea of purpose.
Jay’s works are vessels for connection and communication, representative of his personal influences and experiences as a man in the 21st century. They summon questions about the ideas of construction and destruction, of strength and of aesthetics. Jay’s careful manipulation of the clay reflects the curious paradox of human existence, the gentle beauty and overwhelming violence of our condition. In representing this perpetual dichotomy, Jay’s work connects us to a greater whole and encourages curiosity and reflection.
Jay believes that ceramics are unique in their ability to withstand the erosion of time, thus preserving our past while also being a compass for our future.