Jill Woodruff Manos

I was born in Springfield, Missouri, in 1947.  I was initially introduced to clay during my junior year of high school. During that time, I decided to pursue a career as a professional ceramic artist.

I graduated from Colorado Woman’s College in 1970, where I studied hand building and throwing techniques for porcelain and stoneware clays.  At CWC, I studied under Henry Mead, a graduate of New York State School of Ceramics, Alfred University.  Upon the completion of my degree, I apprenticed in Mead’s studio pottery for one year.  It was through that experience that I committed to wheel thrown ware.  In 1973, I joined a pottery cooperative in Denver, and continued throwing functional, high-fired pots.  In 1976, I left that studio to build a passive solar, adobe home and studio in a rural community southeast of Denver, where I continue to work today.

In my new studio, I began throwing low-fired red earthenware clay.  For the following 15 years, I made ware decorated with colored slips and a clear glaze.  I grew up surrounded by majolica pottery from Italy, Portugal and Brittany.  The work from that time references those pieces.

In 2001, I decided it was a good time to slow down production. I invested my efforts in an exploration of majolica glaze and decoration, which was something I had wanted to do for years.  I studied with Stanly Anderson at Anderson Ranch, in Aspen, CO, and Linda Arbuckle at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, NC, attending intensive summer workshops to learn more about Majolica techniques.  Since then, I have been exploring my voice in Majolica.  My new work exhibits the  influence of years of personal interest in traditional folk art of Northern New Mexico, as well as, the luscious and often surprising color combinations I have discovered in Mexico and Centeral America.

I began showing my work nationally in 1984 in fine craft galleries, and juried exhibitions.  In the 1980’s and 1990’s, my work was featured in solo and group exhibitions at leading venues for contemporary craft.  Some of them include:

Elizabeth Fortner Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA

Clay and Fiber, Taos, NM

Jackie Chalkley Gallery, Washington, DC

Sylvia Ullman American Crafts, Cleveland, OH

Signature Gallery, Boston, MA

Maveety Gallery Salishan, OR

The Works Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Hibberd-McGrath Gallery, Breckenridge CO

Show of Hands, Denver, CO

Denver Art Museum, Art of Crafts, Denver, CO

American Craft Exposition, Evanston, IL