Jose Sierra was born in Mérida, Venezuela in 1975. While José is a mostly self-taught artist, he studied art at the University of the Andes in Mérida, Venezuela from 1993-1996, where he learned the basic skills of mixing clay, glazes, as well as wheel throwing. In 1996, José began working professionally as an artist in Mérida, Venezuela, doing mostly sculpture. In 2000, José moved to Iowa where he dedicated himself to both sculpture and pottery. He later found more inspiration while living in Arizona, and the geography of the American Southwest continues to influence his textures and designs. José is currently living in Forest Grove, Oregon where he is working full-time as an artist.
The images and memories of coffee mills, intensely colored mountains, dramatic landscape, pre-Colombian art and architecture as well as contemporary design all combine to influence and inspire my work. By altering wheel-thrown porcelain and stoneware, my work fuses organic and geometrical forms, in which I express both the fluidity and abruptness of the shapes and lines in the landscapes and architecture that surround me. The colors of the Andes and Catalina Mountains also inspire my palette of glazes and engobes, which are achieved through high-firing in oxidation and reduction.