jon hook

I am a studio ceramic artist creating sculptural work and functional pottery. My independent research of wood fired kilns and pottery in the Midwest led to the co-opening in 1997 of Hook Pottery Paper in northwest Indiana with my wife, Andrea Peterson.

Wood fired ceramics is an intense and industrious process that emphasizes the use of local materials for firing as well as glaze making. Local plants such as hay, cattails, thistle, and clay are used in part to make glazes from ash or slip. This process reduces everything to an essence, making these works truly unique. I am a forerunner and expert in my field concerning sustainable and regenerative firing and ceramic studio processes. I received two consecutive Indiana State grants that aided my research of an oil drip burner system to assist my wood fired kiln and develop a series of ash glazes made from local plants collected from farms in the area.


 I use high fire stoneware clays and make many of the glazes directly from the clay on our property and plant ash collected from farmers that are transitioning to organic. The connection to these farmers has given me a deeper understanding of the intricate web of life. When I collect thistle that is growing in a field of oats for instance, there is no need to use of any chemicals. The local plants become part of the ceramic work produced in this style of firing due to the magical alchemy involved in wood firing.


The sculptural ceramic works are about seeing nature through an experience – collecting and observing. Giving a voice to the time we breathe deeply, a profound moment is found as the earth looks back at us. Grasses lay down in fields after snow melts, reducing everything to an essence. The work connects to the place I live. The pieces explore the symbiotic relationships of plants in an imagined ephemeral state. I strive to understand the plant, soil structure, and life cycles from seed creation through growth to decay. I embody these profound life cycles within the works. The transformation of clay and ash in the wood fire kiln is a major step along the path to creating these works. The various wood and plants burned become part of the alchemy and magic of the way I have chosen to work. My studio methods are in line with the natural cycles of the environment. I employ regenerative design through out concept and process. A re-design of my wood fired kiln into an alternative firing system, which has a used fryer oil drip- system is an example. My technique of creating high temperature glazes from natural plant materials benefits environmental health and transparent beauty in dialogue with the waste stream system in our world today. The use of recycled plant oils in rural farming communities as bio-fuels has been well established for a number of years but it’s introduction into the ceramic educational art world is slow coming into the pedagogical education of young environmental artists. My dedication to eco-mutualism in the environment has evolved to center on a regional identity with a sense of place through the use of indigenous patterns of relationship with my community and the natural materials of the area where I live.


Jon Hook

b. 1964 lives and works in LaPorte, IN

1986             BFA Ceramics, Hope College, Holland, MI

Hook Pottery Paper, 1997 – 2018
A fine arts gallery and art studios: ceramics, paper arts, print and artist book founded by Jon Hook and Andrea Peterson. This successful facility was founded with the intention to create works of art and research in an environmentally sustainable manner.
The studios foster an international artist assisted residencies and internships.
Solo Exhibitions
2017   Botanical Lore, Legend and Transformation, Brauer Museum, Valpraiso, IN
2015   Amongst the Trees, Kalamazoo Center for the Book Arts, Kalamazoo, MI
2013   On the Farm, Tabula Rasa Gallery, Baroda, MI
2007   Making hay while the sun shines, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN
2005   Bricolage’ Theil Gallery, South Suburban College, South Holland, IL
2004   Scribbling Embrace, site installation, Lubeznik Center for the Arts; Michigan                         City, IN
Juried Exhibitions
2017   First Responders, BLINK Contemporary Art, Michigan City, IN
2016   Sticks and Stones, BLINK Contemporary Art, Michigan City, IN
2014   Roots and Trees, Hot Springs Art Center,
Sustainability, Diane Kidd Gallery, Tiffin University, Tiffin, OH
2005   Artfestation, Heritage Hill, Grand Rapids, MI
The Teapot Show, Hoffine Studio, Lakeside, MI
2002   Wood fire Invitational 2002, Goshen Clay Artist Guild, Washington Street Gallery,                 Goshen, IN
Invited Exhibitions
2015   Art meets Industry, Lubeznik Art Center, Michigan City, IN
Current Work, The Nest, Michigan City, IN
2014   Instructor Exhibition, South Bend Regional Museum, South Bend, IN
The Banquet, Southern Shore Art Association Gallery, Michigan City, IN
2012   Natural Elements, Walnut Ink Gallery, Michigan City, IN
Under One Roof, Visitors Center, Hammond, IN
Open House Hook Pottery Paper Gallery, LaPorte, IN
Country Modern, Fitzgerald’s, Sawyer, MI
2011   Earth, Air, Fire, & Water, Blink Gallery, Michigan City, IN
2010   Animal, Vegetable, Mineral, Vickers Theatre, Three Oaks, MI
2008   Member’s Show, Krasl Art Center, St. Joe, MI
2007   Natural Inclinations, Christopher Art Gallery, Prairie State College, Chicago                         Heights, IL
Sand, Steel, Spirit, Phoenix Gallery, New York City
2006   1+1=one, Recycle, Renew, Restore; environmental installation, LaMaPa Museum               and Park, Rolling Prairie, IN
Area Artists at Star, Star Gallery, Michigan City, IN
Sand, Steel, Spirit,
Fort Wayne Museum of Art, FortWayne,IN
Visiting Artist/ Residency/ Academic Appointment
2017   Visiting Artist, St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN
2014   Ceramic Residency, Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI
2006   Visiting Wood fire Ceramic Artist, Ox-Bow -School of the Art                                      Institute, Saugatuck, MI
1997-99 Adjunct Faculty for Ceramics, University Indiana-South Bend, IN
Public Interviews
2015   Artist Series – sustainable kiln firing, Lubeznik Art Center, Michigan City,IN
2007   National Public Radio – Chicago Public Radio WBEZ 91.5
“848” and “All Things Considered
July/August, AAA Living Magazine
March, “on the green front”, Chicago magazine
2004   Early Summer, “Ancient Arts on 12 Acres”, LAKE magazine
2003   Public Television Studios in South Bend, IN – local broadcast
1998   October “In the heat of the night”, Chicago Tribune, Achy Obejas
Public Lectures
2015   South Bend Ceramic Artists, South Bend Regional Art Museum
2012   Krasl Art Center, St.Joseph, MI
2008   National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) group discussion             leader for “Wood Fire, the Renewable Resource.”
2007   Career Day, Springfield School District, Michigan City, IN
2006   Ox-Bow, School of the Art Institute, Saugatuck, MI
LaPorte County Library
Large Coil Vessels, Evanston Art Center, IL
2005   Theil Gallery, South Suburban College, South Holland, IL
Bridgeman Park Festival, Bridgeman, MI
2016   Indiana Arts Commission Grant
2014   Indiana Arts Commission Grant
1999   Indiana University Faculty Enrichment Grant
2017-06  Multi-Level Ceramics, Krasl Art Center, St. Joseph, MI
2015-12  Multi-Level Ceramics, South Bend Regional Museum of Art, South                                     Bend, IN
2015   Krasl Art Center, St Joseph, MI
2013   Glaze Basics, Krasl Art Center, St, Joseph, MI
2008   Firing with wood, Hook Pottery Paper, Laporte, IN
2007   Wood fired Raku , Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN
Earth and Fire Ceramics, Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN
2001   Ceramic Whistle, On the Meadow program, Ox-bow, School of Art Institute,                       Saugatuck, MI
Professional Development Activities
2016   Research: Native plants suitable for wood firing glaze processes, Indiana Arts                     Council Grant
2014   Research: Create sustainable kiln using food waste oil, Indiana Arts
Council Grant
2011   Phoenix Fast Fire kiln: built to fire loads in one day
2009   Ground Hog Style tube kiln, high fired cross draft fired to explore plant fiber as                   glaze.
2006   Noborigama kiln built as a large chamber for high fire sculpture and functional ware.
2005   Anagama tunnel kiln built as a very large chamber for sculpture and functional                     ware, was not fuel-efficient and thus deconstructed.
           Area Artist Association, Michigan City, IN *2007-08 Vice President
NCECA, National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts
Lubeznik Art Center, Michigan City, IN
Krasl Art Center, St Joe, MI
           Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, IN
Lubeznik Center for the Arts, Michigan City, IN
School of the Art Institute Chicago- Joan Flash Collection, Chicago, IL
Fort Wayne Museum, IN
Conjalka Enterprises, IN
Privately collected – International and nationally