John Jessiman is interested in the ceramic process as a means to manifest ideas, create form, and to invest work with energy, mystery, and intrigue. He believes, as stated by Robert Motherwell, that one does not have to fully understand works of art or their origins to enjoy and be enriched by them.
The early works of the Jomon potters, Native peoples, 15th – 16th century Japanese, as well as many great contemporary artists have been an unending source of enrichment for John. The encrusted surfaces that embody unknown symbolic reference, the works of the tea ceremony, the brutality of Peter Voulkos, the sensuous understatements of Bob Turner, and the paintings of Tapies, Motherwell, and Joan Mitchell are just some of the artistic works that have given John direction.
In his own work and in his teaching, he has stressed the distinction between influence and imitation. John has always tried to take the many influences and distill them into a unique and personal statement.