Juno has a deep love for sensational experiences and aims to share this with you through her work. Each piece is meticulously cared for to delight the subtle bodies, stimulating the feels of human experience through symbolism, form, imagery and texture. - Juno Welsh (from her Artist Statement)
I first saw Juno’s work in the window of Zinnia, a store in my small mountain town that showcases ethical crafting and natural fibres. Alluring, transfixing, sensual, powerful ceremonial vessels. The clay pieces, arranged artfully among silks and linens, rustled my DNA. It was evening, and the shop was closed, so I came back a few days later. Picking them up, I could see they were incredibly crafted; thin walls and perfectly curved handles. Each piece was hand painted with gold lustre detail and the interior harboured a phthalo green glaze. It was the imagery that called to me though. Sacred carvings of undulating snakes, etched and painted in intertwining and mirroring movement with each other. Suns, eyes, rainbows and dots born from a union of Egyptian hieroglyphs and ayahuasca visions. Symbols created by overlaying gold on navy blue and cream backgrounds. Elegant craft paired with stylized imagery creating powerful ceremonial objects. Picking one after another up, holding them in my palms, they felt good against my skin. Smooth and lightweight, yet so very grounded and voluminous inside the storefront. These pieces weren't afraid to take up space. I knew then that my morning coffee ritual was about to enter new territory.
My birthday arrived a week later, and my partner surprised me with one of Juno’s pieces. I held the mug in my hands and turned it around. The image was of two snakes dancing in sync under a sun and an autumn blue sky. The handle, thin and undulating like the snakes, allowed for three of my fingers to cup the mug with my pinky underneath. An enchanting addition to my curated collection of locally produced, hand-made coffee mugs. I felt elated, indulged, and satisfied. Yet without a chance to drink even one coffee out of it, I broke it. Somehow I just dropped it. I just stood there, stunned. Elation turned to sadness. Shame burned my cheeks. What I didn't understand with that mug breaking so quickly after receiving it, was that a process had been initiated.
A snowstorm and a cross-country ski later, I encountered Juno’s work again, this time at a local cafe. My eyes landed on a large cup, again painted with two snakes. Their bodies intertwined to form an infinity symbol. Repeating eyes formed the landscape in the background. A tiny squiggle of gold on the handle represented another serpent. This was the second piece of Juno’s work to come into my life (see fifth image above).
Over the next few years I accumulated more of Juno Welsh's ritual vessels (see sixth image above). Black mugs with gold ophidians and rising suns, white tumblers with painted hands and flaming fingertips, a bowl with NO and NOPE painted on the outside and two flaming fuck yous on the inside (see No Matter – third image above). All elegant and powerful at the same time. Visiting their studio, I slowly built a rapport with them and their art. I learned the stories behind symbols and of some of their life experiences that led to certain series. As the number of cups, tumblers, and bowls grew in my own collection, so did the spirit that they were imbued with. Juno's vessels added another level of devotion to my daily rituals.
Juno sees the unseen everywhere, but they connect most deeply through meditation and personal ceremony. Over the years they’ve cultivated a relationship to different plant allies, and to the Egyptian goddess Sekhmet. Dark, feminine energies that find knowing through the senses. Some of their experiences have been incredibly intense. The realms they inhabit and explore in their journeys are not the stuff of pillowy clouds and rainbows. Yet they seem rather matter-of-fact about it all; they’re a human following their curiosity, and choosing to engage with spirit without knowing the outcome. Juno’s practice has helped them overcome trauma and pull scattered pieces of themselves back again. It has taught them the power of intention, and of making life sacred. This power goes into the clay as they work it, and into each vessel as they sculpt, fire, and paint them. It also goes into their performance pieces, as thye explore identity and the body as a tool. An elemental witch, Juno Welsh is as potent as their practices.
Juno’s newest body of work involves the creation of blood vessels, crying and scrying bowls. The ultimate utensils for ritual, these pieces will be created specifically for each purpose. Blood vessels will be for offerings - your blood, or that of another. They could also be used for offerings to spirit, such as food, scents, or libations. These bowls will be white and have painted detail added to them. (See Receiving Reign image above – this drawing was inspiration for the bowls, and for a performance piece Juno will be doing in June 2022 - link below). Crying bowls are to collect your tears; they can be used during a grief ceremony, shadow work, or therapy. They are also white inside with painted details. Scrying bowls are for developing your imagination. Created to hold water and to see messages in while performing readings of tarot, runes, or when channeling. These bowls will be black inside with painted details. All will be available to order through her website (link below).
Meeting Juno has reminded me of the power of intention within the creative process. Their work has informed my own, and now my work is informing their world. My collection has grown, and I use their vessels in my daily meditations, as well as in my grief ceremonies and new moon rituals. Juno meditates in front of my After Eden Bat painting inside her studio, and my drawing of a house in flames adorns her wall. Our conversations were part of what inspired me to create Art, Wilderness, Mystic in that I desire to find more artists to dialogue with who are creating with the unseen. Thank you for your beautiful work, encouragement, and deep well of inspiration, Juno.
Juno will be performing at Wicked Woods Music Festival on May 27th, 2022.
They will also be performing in their Victoria Street studio window as part of Nelson Artwalk on June 24th, 2022.
To see more of Juno's creations, or to sign up for their mailing list to be the first to see new collections, go to their website at:
Follow Juno on Instagram at:
@lovemakurrr (performance art)
Images in the order they are posted:
The Purge, 2022
No Matter, 2021
Receiving Reign, 2022
The 1st & 2nd of Juno’s mugs to come into my world
My collection of Juno's vessels as of April 2022
Artist self-portrait, 2021
Bramble Lee Pryde is a ceramicist that also creates pieces for ritual and is a source of inspiration for Juno's art:
If you were peaked by the idea of creating a relationship with Sekhmet, here is a brief introduction to the warrior goddess:
Art, Wilderness, Mystic is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.