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. Sanders completed a large-scale public art piece for the city of Charlotte in 2009 and was an 18-month Affiliate Artist at the McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, NC from 2004-2006. Her work is exhibited in galleries throughout the United States, several publications and she has filmed an in-depth instructional video with international release. Sanders has been awarded Regional Artist Grant through the Arts and Science Council in Charlotte, NC and was a contributing artist in last spring’s ASC sponsored Community Supported Arts project.
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.
Sanders received her BA in art and secondary education from Centre College in Danville, KY, where she also worked as an assistant in the clay and drawing studios and served on a professional glass blowing crew. For two summers Sanders was interim manager at Clayworks. Sanders’ honors include: Exhibiting Member of Piedmont Craftsmen, “Best of Show: Award of Distinction,” Blowing Rock Art in the Park, “Best Booth Design,” Ohio Designer Craftsmen, numerous local artist-in-residence experiences including Huntingtowne Ridge Elementary School, Garinger High School, and Bruns Ave. Elementary School.
The physical and creative nature of working with clay satisfies my desire to play, construct, 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. Much like people, each piece interacts with another, creating a rhythmic conversation by leaning or even touching.
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.