Potter And Photographer, Jana Hullinghorst

By Stephanie Sack | Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jana Hullinghorst in the Lincoln Square Pottery Studio with some of her work. Credit: Stephanie Sack

Baton Rouge’s loss in Chicago’s gain when it comes Jana Hullinghorst. This multi-talented gal is originally from Louisiana and, after completing her education at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, made her way to Chicago where she has furthered her creative output in both photography and pottery.

Currently an Independent Study student at the Lincoln Square Pottery Studio, a not-for-profit that specializes in ceramics classes for children and adults of all skill levels, Jana’s work has been exhibited in museums and galleries in Philadelphia, Louisiana, and of course, Chicago. Her work was recently featured in the Studio’s annual holiday saleand more information about her photography and ceramic skills can be found on her website.

1. Where are you originally from and how did you end up in Chicago?

I am originally from Baton Rouge. I always had interest in photography [but] the colleges in my area didn’t have a photography program so I did a little research and ended up moving to Philadelphia where I got my degree in photography in 2006. I had always heard such wonderful things about Chicago and after spending three years on the East Coast I was totally ready to experience some midwestern kindness. I knew about the wonderful architecture in this city and I wanted to capture the city though my lens. This is a great city to be in!

2. How long have you been working with your two mediums, pottery and photography?

I’ve been making photographs since I was about 18 years old. When I was a kid I did a lot of dabbling in paint and drawing, I was never very good at either, but I loved the creative outflow so when I came to photography it was a relief! I could express myself artistically without having my lack of hand control getting in the way.

I started making pottery only three years ago! I actually started making pottery as a hobby to escape my photography. What I have found doing both practices is that they alleviate one another. When I’m making pottery, it’s a totally hands on experience which requires a level of precision, but a different kind than drawing/painting. After I finish at the pottery studio, I can turn around and play Photoshop, manipulating the photos in a very non-messy environment.

3. How did you find the Lincoln Square Pottery Studio, and what been your experience there? 

I found Lincoln Square Pottery Studio through my friend Olivia Marrone. She brought me to the studio one day because I had expressed my interest in pottery.

LSPS is so wonderful! Margaret Biddle is the owner and teaches classes in the evenings. Anyone can learn to make pottery with her instruction. This is a very relaxed environment and the place is so bright and cheerful, it’s easy to gain creative inspiration just being there.

4. When you are not making gorgeous vases or taking amazing photographs, where do you like to spend time in the area? 

Eating pizza in Welles Park. Apart Pizza across from the park on Montrose Ave. has the best pizza I’ve ever eaten. Swear. I also enjoy going for a bike ride in in the area too. There’s plenty of gift shops in the area like embellish and Tilly’s. Lots of nice restaurants and taverns as well if you’re looking for something yummy to eat. The Old Town School of Folk Music is also in the area, and there’s always performances to see.

5. What advice would you give to someone in Lincoln Square or Northcenter looking to explore their creative side?

I would totally suggest taking a mini session at the Lincoln Square Pottery Studio! A mini-session at the pottery studio is about three hours long and you can either learn how to use the pottery wheel or have a go at hand building. I would also suggest checking out the Old Town School if you’re musically inclined or just interested in learning an instrument. There’s also plenty of documentary style photography potential in the area, so if you’re looking to spend a nice day walking around the neighborhood getting some sun and making great images, Lincoln Square/Northcenter would be a great place to do it.

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