Handbuilding with Custom Texture
Working with low-fire red earthenware and terra sigillata, this workshop will mainly focus on soft slab construction while considering how stamped patterns enhance the surface. Some pieces will be created by pinching, folding, and draping thin slabs over molds, while others will start with simple paper templates. A variety of forms will be demonstrated including serving pieces, vases, sculptural bowls, and wall pieces. We will make several special texturing tools to be used during the workshop. Lively discussion will focus on sharing ideas, studio practices and making good aesthetic decisions while creating a pot. No prior clay experience is necessary, but may be helpful.
Amy first discovered clay as an undergraduate studying biology at Centre College in Danville, KY where she quickly switched majors and graduated with a BA in art and secondary education. She and her husband Brian then moved to Charlotte to work for Habitat for Humanity as Americorps volunteers and happily discovered an amazing clay community in NC. Amy has been teaching throwing and hand-building classes at Clayworks Studio in Charlotte for 16 years, and also greatly enjoys teaching workshops all over the US. After completing an 18-month artist residency at McColl Center for Visual Art, she has been a full-time studio artist for 10 years (in between hanging out with her two young boys: Guthrie and Sammy). Amy completed a large-scale public art tile project for the city of Charlotte in conjunction with a residency at Garinger High School. Her work is exhibited nationally and you can experience her clay processes through her DVD published by the Potters Council.
The physical and creative nature of working with clay satisfies my desire to play, to construct, to experiment, and to get dirty. Patterns in textiles, architecture, nature, and quilting inspire me to create works that invite touch and evoke a sense of nostalgic comfort. Early in the construction process, clay is soft and pliable; I enjoy building pieces that reflect these properties even after the clay has become hard from firing. I often make pieces with the intention of showing them in a grouping, as though they are conversing with each other.
Growing up in southern Ohio, I spent my early years watching my mother and grandmothers sew. Upon moving to Charlotte after graduating college, I did not have a clay studio in which to create, so I began to sew myself. Experiences with sewing breathed life into my clay work: patterns, textures, and seams from fabrics and textiles inform my design and formal decisions.
The isolation of working alone in my studio has heightened my awareness of the importance of people and true community in my life. I experience this community through sharing food, celebrations, worship, teaching, athletic competition, group traveling, and music, as well as interactions with the city itself. My desire for a sense of place and history while living within an urban environment is reflected in my work.
Website: Amy Sanders Pottery
Basic Pottery Tools
- Needle tool
- Serrated rib (or your own favorite scoring tool)
- Small sponge
- Cutting wire
- Flexible metal rib
- Soft rubber rib
- A couple small/medium brushes for terra sigillata
- Pony Roller
Your favorite texture making items: stamps, found objects, etc.
(You may wish to bring your own banding wheel.)