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Twisted Elliptical Brooch
Textured Porcelain Brooch 3.75" by 1"
Ceramics, travel, and the natural world inform and enrich
Chicago native Cj Jilek’s art-making practice.
Cj’s education includes a BFA from Southern Illinois University,
Carbondale and an MFA from Utah State University in Logan.
She studied abroad in Australia and Korea and had a residency
in a traditional ceramics factory in Boleslawiec, Poland.
Although Cj’s career began as a wood-fire artist, her exploration
of new sculptural forms led her creative practice to mid-range
Cj loves to share her knowledge and experience with others
and conducts workshops at home and abroad. For nearly 20
years Jilek has taught for community studio programs including
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, Carbondale Clay Center, The Clay
House and the American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA).
Currently residing in Southern California, Cj serves as an adjunct
professor of ceramics at Chaffey, Saddleback, and Mt San
Antonio Colleges as well as Chapman University.
Inspired by the sensuality of the natural world, I utilize botanical
forms with their openly displayed reproductive elements as a
metaphor for human sexuality. Eliminating the presence of
stems, leaves, and roots removes the physical context of the
plants allowing the viewer to focus on the form specifically in
terms of it’s sexuality. The exaggerated forms of the stamens
and pistils create a visual language making direct correlations
between the botanical forms and characteristics of the human
body. These biomorphic forms are designed to lead the viewer
to a subconscious association between nature and the human
instinct of attraction. Through my work I’m questioning ideas
of beauty, eroticism, adaptation, acceptance, attraction, and