Arlington, Vermont

As a reflection of her military experience, Jessica explores the juxtaposition of US service women in combat with the domestic and decorative nature of heirloom tableware. Using the notion of “serving” she creates ornate decorative forms associated with serving, depicting military women serving their country. Female soldiers in a war-torn landscape are surrounded, not by enemies but by traditional floral borders embellished with gold and soft feminine colors. By combining military iconography with traditional floral elements and botanical patterns she subverts the once benign decoration while creating a personal narrative and contemporary social commentary. Through non-traditional imagery Jessica seeks to challenge the entrenched ideas of domesticity and gender roles while exposing the social and cultural issues faced by military women. This work encourages dialogue about pervasive social dynamics that prevent something perceived as violent and destructive from also being considered beautiful.

Images of Work

Putnam-Phillips_Onward Upward (002)
Putnam-Phillips_Onward Upward (002)
Putnam-Phillips_Onward Upward (002)


Underglaze wash

Favorite Products

My favorite Speedball product is the Speedball ceramic underglazes. I use these to create wide range surface decoration techniques, such as: sgraffito, mishima and as an underglaze wash on bisque ware.

For sgraffito I apply two layers of underglaze on leather hard clay and then carve my design into the clay. The carved lines reveal the clay underneath and allows for detailed imagery and texture.

To create more intricate designs, I use the Mishima technique, I incise my image right on the surface of the leather hard clay then use the underglaze to fill in the lines. After the underglaze has set up a bit it I then wipe away the excess with a damp sponge revealing my now colored lines.

My favorite way of using Speedball underglaze is to use it in creating a rainbow of iridescent colors on the ceramic surface. For this technique, I use a wash of underglaze on the bisque ware, then a clear gloss glaze over that. After the glaze firing I apply and fire on a layer on mother of pearl luster which gives a variety of stunning luminous colors!