Jaye Allan was born Jaye Rutherford in 1958 to a Science and a Foreign Language high school teacher in Perth, Western Australia. She grew up in Merredin in the wheatbelt seeing wildflowers on road verges, in the bush and around granite outcrops. Holidaying nearly every Christmas in Dunsborough and walking along the beach she dug clay out of creeks to make pinch pots and coiled bowls.
After studying Botany and languages in Perth, she taught for nearly 30 years in New South Wales, then spent six years supporting Giant Panda conservation in China and nearly 5 years helping Greens political parties in Africa…
Around 60 years old she completed a Diploma in Visual Arts from Durack, now Central Regional TAFE in Geraldton. Her TAFE pottery reflected a love of nature, especially birds (she’s a member of Birdlife Australia) and fish (from snorkeling among reefs) and an interest in colour, composition and texture. Jaye then started hand-making, glazing and firing small plates and bowls from Earthenware clay at the Dongara Pottery Club.
Her first series, Sea Sponges came from laying rolled clay in dried sea sponges and dipping the bowls in high fire glazes to represent rocks, ocean, sand, spray and vegetation.
Her second series, Midwest Wildflowers, involved hand-built local wildflowers, buds, leaves and stems, rocks and backgrounds, carefully cut in detail and colourfully glazed, set into hand-made bowls and plates.
Important to Jaye is using only her own photographs and memories to represent artistically the natural landscape, wildlife and plants she herself sees where she lives. Perhaps in the future we may also see where she used to live? And why? To see the bigger picture of our beautiful world and why we must love and conserve it, before it’s too late.