Amy Sanders is a potter whose earthenware vessels create a balance of form, texture and pattern with utility. She currently works as a studio artist, teaches adult handbuilding classes at Clayworks Studio and conducts workshops across the United States.
Growing up in southern Ohio, Sanders spent her early years watching her mother and grandmothers sew. Upon moving to Charlotte in 1999 to work in construction for Habitat for Humanity as an Americorps volunteer, she did not have a clay studio in which to create; Sanders began to sew herself. Her experiences with sewing began to breathe life into her clay work. Patterns, textures and seams from fabrics and textiles appeared in her stamped clay vessels.
How did you get started in clay?
Growing up I was more of a math and science gal, and hadn’t taken any art classes since middle school, but I caught the pottery bug my sophomore year in college. As a biology major, I took a ceramics class as an elective, immediately fell in love, and switched my major to art.
Who or what is your biggest artistic influence?
My work references are informed by a wide range of inspirations. Specifically, my biggest artistic influence is textile design.
What is a typical day like in your studio?
I have two young boys (Guthrie, almost 7, and Sammy, 5) so my time in the studio changes daily! My most “typical” time in the studio is at night, once the boys go to bed. I’m a night owl, so this works out nicely!
Since I’m in a season of my life where my time is relatively limited in the studio, I do my best to work efficiently in small runs of items. For instance, pre-kids, I would typically work on 20 to 24 mugs at a time, and now my groupings are much smaller, like 8 to 10. Both boys will be in school in the fall, so it will be interesting to see how my work and work processes change when I’ll be back to having some regular daytime studio hours!
What do you listen to while you work?
I love listening to our local NPR station, WFAE. It’s mostly talk radio — news or shows that are culturally based.
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