John Jordan | Black Textured Jar
John Jordan

born 1950
Resides in Antioch, Tennessee

Biography       Statement       Ask the Artist       In the Studio
Known primarily for his textured and carved hollow vessels and small necked bottles, John Jordan has been featured in nearly every major turning exhibition the past five years, including "International Lathe Turned Objects - Challenge V", and "Redefining the Lathe-Turned Object".

He teaches woodturning throughout the US and the UK. In 1994, his work was shown in Munich, Germany and at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. The American Craft Museum in New York City, the Fine Arts Museum of the South in Mobile, Alabama, and the Bank of Nashville all have Jordan's work in their collections.

He's former President of the Cumberland Valley Chapter of the Tennessee Association of Craft Artists, and Former Vice-President and a founding member of the Tennessee Association of Woodturners.


The pieces I make are simple but finely-detailed vessels. Manipulating the color and patterns in the wood to complement the form, and the texturing and carving to create visual and tactile contrasts are important parts of the process and the result. What I feel is most important is the intangible quality that the piece is 'right' that comes with putting emotion and feeling into the work.

"The woods that I use are almost all from the damp, construction sites etc. I find great satisfaction in creating objects from material that was destined to be buried or burned."

Ask the Artist

Ask your own question-- E-MAIL ADDRESS--

Where do you get the ideas for your work?

The sources for inspiration are endless. Frequently, the ideas are an extension of something I'm already working on--the next step.

Do you work alone on your craft, or with others?

I work alone, but depend on frequent contact with my peers in all media, to share thoughts, feelings, ideas.

Do you ever teach, or take on apprentices?

I teach - everything from short demos to 1 or 2 week hands-on-sessions. I teach in the U.S., Canada, and the UK as many as 35-40 sessions a year. I would gladly take an apprentice if one expressed a real interest.

What's the most exciting part of creating your works?

Knowing that there is always more to learn--it's going to get better.

What's the most difficult part of creating your works?

Staying focused - the constant travelling and teaching make it difficult to maintain momentum.

What sort of technology do you use in your work? Has the technology of your craft changed dramatically over the past 100 years?

The basics of turning wood on a lathe have changed little in the last couple of centuries - however, we now use modern materials in the tools, and many of us are constantly developing/refining tools and techniques.

Do you have any advice for somebody just starting out?

Don't isolate yourself. Look to your peer group, arts/crafts associations etc. Look outside your media.

What are we missing by experiencing your work through the Internet and not seeing/hearing/feeling/smelling/touching it in person?

The very tactile qualities of wood - enhanced by the surface texture and carving.

Sidney R. Hutter Ronald E. Kent