In her most recent work, Jami Porter Lara engages the ancient techniques of pueblo potters to create sculptures inspired by the most iconic and ubiquitous vessel of our time: the plastic bottle. She describes the project as a kind of reverse archaeology: digging into the present and future using tools of the past. Using age-old methods she learned in Mata Ortiz, Porter Lara digs clay from a site south of Albuquerque, then soaks, strains, and dries it. She hand-coils each sculpture, which she then burnishes with a smooth stone and fired in a scrap-wood bonfire. She does not use a wheel, glazes or kilns.

Jami Porter Lara (b. 1969, Spokane, Washington) has lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico since 1980. Working a variety of media, ranging from ceramics to drawing to social exchange, and mixing traditional forms with contemporary strategies, her work questions how value is assigned to cultural objects. Her work is widely collected and has been featured in American Art Collector Magazine, Hyperallergic, and on PBS arts series, Colores. Recent exhibitions include the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Albuquerque Museum of Art and Art History, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and the Center for Land Use Interpretation in Wendover, Utah. She is represented by Central Features Contemporary Art in Albuquerque and Stephanie Breitbard Fine Arts in San Francisco.  

Click here and here to see videos about Jami and her work.

Potter inspired by traditional techniques, plastic water bottles, Albuquerque Journal
Art on the Border, art21 magazine
Clay Vessels Pay Tribute to the Plastic Water Bottle, Hyperallergic
At National Museum of Women in the Arts, Water Bottles As ArtWashington City Paper
These 20 Artists Are Shaping the Future of Ceramics, Artsy
Art and Entertainment Guide, Washington City Paper
The Accidental Politics of An Art Exhibit Called "Border Crossing,"  The Washingtonian
Preview: Border Crossing, Brightest Young Things
Border Crossingsolo exhibition at the National Museum of Women in the Arts