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My work revolves around symmetry. In my sculptural works and functional pottery I use the pottery wheel to create fine forms consisting of sharp lines and smooth curves. I use many layers of glaze to create ‘weavings’ of color while using the raw clay texture as a way to really feel the material. When applying the glaze I use rigid, geometric patterns of overlapping glazes which become fluid and juicy during the firing of the work. The contrast of high amounts of control mixed with the molten heat is one of my favorite parts of the entire process.

The Venetian Goblets series is based off historical glass blowing techniques and goblets forms from Italy in the 1700s. I was able to study these processes by traveling to different craft school like Pilchuck Glass School, Penland School of Crafts and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts where internationally renowned artists are brought together to share their knowledge of specific techniques snd materials. The goblets are made using a reductive process on the pottery wheel akin to woodworking on a lathe, allowing delicate, weightless forms.

My sculptural pieces, ‘Propulson Drones”, are inspired by anything sci fi, star wars, rocket ships and space travel, and are made by combining multiple thrown and turned forms together. The goal is to create many tight spaces and small environments within both the forms and reflecting glazes, so the viewer can potentially get lost in a maze of details. While the pieces are stationary, I’ve always made them with the thought of flight in mind, as if they are mechanical artifacts from engineering feats yet unknown.

I’ve been lucky to have ceramics, pottery and more specifically clay in my life for a very long time. I grew up in Ojai, CA and was able to play with clay as a child in middle school, learn how throw pots in High School form Gray Duncan (rest in peace) and pursue sculpture and production pottery in college at Sonoma State University graduating in 2012. After college I was able to travel to those crafts schools I mentioned earlier, which both inspired my work as well as fostered many worldwide connections and friendships in the arts. I’ve participated in and taught workshops all over the United States and have done residencies at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine, the Beatrice Wood Center for the Arts in Ojai, CA and the Australian National University in Canberra, AUS. Since traveling i’ve focused on production pottery and more functional work, being employed by production factories such as Maxim Douglas in Ventura, CA, making large scale thrown works and lamps and more recently at FLM Ceramics, where i am the lead production potter for my old friend and mentor Forrest Lesch-Middelton. Aside from the production pottery job I also strive to make my own work, which is a mix of meticulous glazing, fine thrown work and both production and individual pieces, taking techniques and tips and tricks from all the travels and jobs i’ve done prior.

While I currently reside and work in Petaluma, CA, Ojai hold a special place in my heart. It’s always an honor to come back and show with the Ojai Studio Artists, who have supported my artistic growth since i was in High School. It’s also where my parents, Susan Stinsmuehlen Amend and Richard Amend, still live in my childhood home. I come back a few times a year to show my new pots and works alongside them, its a family affair.


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