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Nancy Jacobsohn

Biography to Display: 

1948 Born Penn Yan, New York

EDUCATION

1970 BA Art Education, Pasadena College, Pasadena, California

2000 MLAS Fine Art, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee

RESIDENCIES

1992—Teaching Artist, Tennessee Arts Commission

2017 Artist in Residence, The Clay Lady's Campus, Nashville Tennessee

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

1970-1980 High School Art Teacher, California, Massachusetts, Georgia Public Schools

1987-1990 Teacher, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Nashville, Tennessee

1990-1994 Director of Education, Cheekwood Estate and Gardens, Nashville Tennessee

1994-1995 Executive Director, Historic Traveler’s Rest Plantation and Museum, Nashville, Tennessee

1996—Studio Artist, Sole Proprietor, The Clay Horse Studio, Sparta, Tennessee

 

Nancy 'Nan' Jacobsohn is known for creating handbuilt white stoneware sculpture that often includes the horse as a central figure. Pieces are most often developed using a combination of slabs, coil building, and solid built methods. Using this technique she builds a solid form, when it has partially hardened she cuts it apart, hollows out the interior and then puts the piece back together. She does not begin with a block of clay and carve out the form.

Jacobsohn fires her work using a variety of finishing techniques. Saggar firing is typically reserved for pieces that include the horse, or mixed media masks. Other works are hand colored with layers of underglaze, and fired multiple times until the desired effect is achieved.

Jacobsohn's work is almost always narrative, often from an autobiographical standpoint.  She most often uses the horse to help tell these stories: either as a symbol for women, or in some cases, life's journeys. Jacobsohn believes this particular animal relates to women, especially in their youth. She reasons that young girls are ultimately drawn to the innate beauty and power that radiates from the horse. In addition, Jacobsohn uses a variety of symbols, and iconography to help tell these autobiographical narratives. Sculptural content includes aging, health issues, pain, and recovery in many cases. Jacobsohn’s work stems from a rich lineage of practicing artists. She credits her initial interests in visual arts to her grandmother, a home arts specialist and rug maker. Her daughter, Beth Cavener continues the family legacy as a ceramic sculptor, also focusing on animals.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Southern Highland Craft Guild, Asheville, North Carolina

Tennessee State Museum, Nashville, Tennessee

Webb School Library, Belt Buckle, Tennessee

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

Cavener Stichter, Beth. “New Beginnings.” Ceramics Monthly (May 1999).

De May, Susan. “Cover Story.” Clay Times (2014).

Riggs, Daniel. “Sculpting the Wild Horse.” Clay Times (November 1999).

Tourtillott, Suzanne J.E. 500 Animals in Clay: Contemporary Expressions of the Animal Form. New York, NY: Lark Books, 2006.

 

 

 

 

the center for craft, creativity & design This research was supported by a Craft Research Fund grant from The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, Inc.
   
southern highland craft guild The Archive of the Southern Highland Craft Guild.

 

Typical Marks
Three Dog Night
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Hand Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Tree Figure on Turtle
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Hand Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: TMP
Stallion
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Hand Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: TMP
Wall Relief with Horses
Form: Wall Hanging
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Slab Built, Press Mold
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: TMP

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified May 30, 2019. http://www.themarksproject.org:443/marks/jacobsohn