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Carved Renaissance Vessels

Renaissance painting was transformed with the use of geometry and mathematics. A fascination with the hidden workings behind some of great masterpieces of this era triggered the concept for these carved Renaissance vessels.

The carving is rendered with a scalpel. Decisions on how the pinholes are joined is performed with as little conscious thought as possible, allowing for a more naturalised geometric shape. This time is used instead for reflection, learning, and new ideas. Close attention is given to the carving itself for precision and accuracy. The fact these vessels are coiled rather than thrown adds an asymmetry which indicates a completely handmade approach, contrasting the nature of the intricate detailing.



First a pot is built by hand, using the coiling technique. Images of a painting are then applied to the unfired surface in repetition until completely covered. Dress pins are used to map out the composition of the painting into the clay underneath, picking out key details, taking into consideration what the painter’s intentions may have been, how they wanted the viewer’s eye to move across the image. The pins and paper are removed to reveal a network of pinholes which become the points that dictate the carving. The irregular intervals create a challenge for Jensen's carving, forcing complexities that would not have been there without the process. Once the pot is complete the narrative is hidden, just as the geometry within the painting before it is.


Jensen likes playing with the idea that these completely handmade objects - usually over 100 hours of labour - are often mistaken as being mechanically manufactured. She describes this exacting, almost paradoxical process as ‘anti-digital’. In such a fast-paced age, the thought of sitting and messing around with a lump of mud for 100+ hours might be painful for many to consider. For Jensen, the endurance is the point. It is a critical aspect of the work that cannot be bypassed. Consequently, this principle introduces a high level of risk with the making of each piece.

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