Wild Bill Jones and The Bright Angle
"I am a student of gesture. Marks made in haste, structures quickly erected, abstraction out of necessity. A quick sketch on a cocktail napkin. A drawing on the wall of your cave. The marks I make and the forms I construct embody this way of working. There are many attempts and many losses, yet risk imbues each piece with a kinetic, anxious energy.These things function and are meant for daily, rigorous use."
Bill Jones was with us for one month and he wanted to explore his gestural drawings on slipcast forms, learn how to use the laser cutter and make a large form that he could not make on the wheel. During that time he made a series of beautiful cups, vases and jars - each one is unique. This exclusive collection will be available in our online shop on August 27!
Our Design Residency program was established to give emerging designers an opportunity to expand and refine their practice in a production setting. With each designer we discuss their goals for the residency - what they would like to learn, how we can best support them, and what they would like to make.
Interview with Wild Bill Jones
TBA: Why do they call you “Wild Bill”?
Wild Bill: It’s just another holdover from my stagecoach days.
TBA: What did you make at The Bright Angle and why did you choose those forms?
Wild Bill: I was interested in translating my clay slip drawing techniques to the slip casting process - decorating the insides of molds and using the whole thing as a way to create monoprints. My plan was to only use existing molds for this thinking that there wasn’t enough time to make my own form, but seeing the TBA process for generating forms through 3d modeling and digital fabrication made me change my mind. In creating the large Moon Jar inspired form I was not only looking for a big canvas to decorate, but also to create something that I couldn’t make on my wheel.
TBA: Do you work with other media?
Wild Bill: Not really. Even when I draw these days I end up using clay slip on a chunk of granite countertop.
TBA: What are some inspirations or influences in your practice?
Wild Bill: To be honest, I see a lot of stuff on my phone. Maybe too much stuff - pots (old and new), lots of abstract paintings, architecture … I mean it’s kind of endless. But what’s been really getting through lately are the things that I see on my daily walks around my home in Greensboro - clouds, deteriorated brick, beautiful images painted on passing train cars. I’m happy to say that it’s stuff like this - not seen on the internet - that is making the most lasting impression on me these days.
TBA: What brought you to The Bright Angle? What was your interest in this residency program?
Wild Bill: I wanted to spend some time working next to my friend, Nick Moen. I mean there’s all the other stuff - getting out of my own studio, working in a way that I don’t normally (slipcasting), experimenting with digital fabrication… but mostly it was an excuse to work with the TBA team. Beyond all else, TBA seems like it’s focused on building a creative and collaborative space and I couldn’t help but want to come out and drink the koolaid.
TBA: What is the best piece of advice you have gotten as an artist?
Wild Bill: Make a thousand of these.
TBA: How do you want someone to feel while using your work?
Wild Bill: Full.
TBA: What was your favorite find in Asheville?
Wild Bill: People have done some amazing things adapting and reusing old industrial space in Asheville - I’m a sucker for places like The Wedge.
TBA: What are your favorite parts of the process?
Wild Bill: The quick parts. The parts that force split second decision making and flow. My whole process seems to be about maximizing these insanely short moments of creation and gesture.
TBA: Where do you want to travel?
Wild Bill: I want to take a bike trip through England and France with my partner - meet some of my favorite potters and eat all the food. All of it.
TBA: What keeps you going?
Wild Bill: It’s all so tenuous - the whole process - and when something does work it’s so damned surprising and exciting that it just fuels the next set of tedious, repetitive days (,months, years).
Wild Bill: Come on up to the House by Tom Waits