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Jodi Levesque: AAN Featured Artist


ACK Artists

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We are thrilled to collaborate with the Artists Association of Nantucket this year to feature their talented artist members. The AAN is a non-profit organization supporting Nantucket artists, providing educational programs in the arts, and preserving the legacy of Nantucket artists. Visit their website, their gallery at 19 Washington Street, their studio at 24 Amelia Drive, or give them a call at (508) 228-0294.

For the month of April we are pleased to feature Jodi Levesque.

Jodi Levesque

This month’s “Meet the Artist” interview is with Jodi Levesque, an AAN ceramics student turned teacher, the former owner of Jodi’s Cakes, Nantucket, and Ceramics Artist Member.

Jodi Levesque was born and raised on a small farm in Iowa. She earned a degree in Pastry Art and Design from Johnson and Wales University in Providence, RI.
Jodi is the former owner/operator of Jodi’s Cakes; specializing in wedding cakes for 21 years. She began taking ceramic classes as a winter hobby at the Artists Association of Nantucket over 10 years ago. Jodi now sells her work at the Artists Association galleries and teaches beginning ceramics classes through AAN.

Jodi writes: “Having grown up in the Midwest my interests remain solidly in functional art; meant to be shared and enjoyed. I am pulled to practical pieces that can be used in celebrations and gatherings. Creating ceramic pieces using my own two hands to mold and shape clay into something not only functional but pleasing to the eye. The pieces are part of my story and my hope is they become part of the users’ story as well through celebrations or the simple gathering of family and friends.”

Interview conducted by AAN Chair of Professional Development and Artist Member, Erika Christensen Scully

ECS: I love that 21 years of baking and decorating spectacular cakes has led you into ceramics. It’s an understandable pivot on creative processes, as both are three-dimensional, hand-building crafts. How did that transition come about?
JL: I started taking ceramic classes over 10 years ago at AAN as a form of escape. There is something really special about being in that creative community. Once I decided to make the switch and set up my own pottery studio it came very naturally. I have found that I really enjoy discovering ways to incorporate my cake-decorating skills into my ceramic work.

ECS: How did your experience with creating cakes help you when you first began throwing on the wheel?
JL: I think I have always worked well in 3D format. As shaped cakes became en vogue, I had gotten quite adept at recreating someone’s college mascot or favorite pet. Understanding the structural integrity needed to create vertical forms as well as having an eye for what shapes I prefer, has helped me in my ceramic skill building.

ECS: What notable challenges did switching creative mediums present?
JL: Wow… I will say there are more benefits. Clay dries but isn’t as time-sensitive as cakes. Clay doesn’t end up on your waistline… Creating a ceramic piece is a slower process which at this point in my life I appreciate. Clay flowers are trickier but the piping detail work is much like frosting. I am more comfortable in the cake aspect but that is simply time and practice in this new medium.

ECS: Are there natural inspirations specific to the island that inspire or influence your work?
JL: I love the simple beauty of Nantucket. It isn’t over-assuming and I think my work is the same. I prefer simple, understated functional ceramics. Pieces that can be used in celebrations and at the family dinner table. I think what I loved most about the cake business is being a part of a families’ happiest moments. That continues for me in my ceramic work.

ECS: Where can your pieces be seen?
JL: AAN galleries, Jack @ 1 Candle Street, or by calling me directly at (508) 680-6351!