merrill_j_ 02.jpg

Jena Merrill is a ceramic artist based in Portland, ME, where she is happily handbuilding her way into her first Maine winter. She received a BA in Studio Arts & Educational Studies from Swarthmore College in 2016 and completed a Special Student Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2017. She attended Penland School of Crafts in 2015 and served as a Resident Artist at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in 2018, and has spent the last three summers teaching ceramics at the Putney School Summer Arts Program in Putney VT. Jena is currently a Resident at Bayside Clay Center at Running With Scissors Artist Studios & Community in Portland, ME, as well as a server at a restaurant downtown and an arts and literacy educator.

Starting with her commitment to the form of the pot and the importance of domestic spaces, Jena combines a delicate, formal sensibility with a playful and personal visual and tactile language to create pottery that emphasizes relationships and in-betweens — she is fascinated by the poetry of everyday things, and is motivated by a haptic approach to materials and objects. Using form, line, and texture as primary building blocks, and playing with shapes, proportions, positive and negative spaces, and the mark of her hand, she creates a kind of material poetry that fulfills an open approach to function, highlights process and materiality, and is at once delicate, formal, and contemplative as well as intuitive and playful.

Jena can be reached by email at

To download a complete CV, please click here.