Where are you from and what sort of child were you?

I grew up on Vancouver Island, Canada. A place that I can imagine I will always return. I have such incredible memories on this island and the neighbouring Gulf Islands. My childhood was hot summers by the sea and snowy winters spent sledding. I was a very shy, introverted kid. Always in my books and drawings, hoping I would not attract the attention of anyone around me.


Tell us about your first memories of being creative. What were your early influences and/or exposure to art and culture?

As long as I can remember, I always knew I wanted to design something. At seven years old, I was convinced that I was going to design shoes when I grew up: my days would be spent daydreaming and drawing sneakers, sandals, and chunky heels. 

I spent a lot of my holidays as a child on Hornby Island, a small island near Vancouver. A small community of artists and retired draft-dodgers, my mother would always take my sister and I to whatever studio was open on the day; we would sit bored while watching her carefully choose pieces of art she was drawn to. Wayne Ngan, a ceramicist I still deeply admire to this day, was one of those artists.  At the time I never understood what she cherished so much about his work but I can see now how much those visits affected me.


Describe your work in 3 sentences or less.

If nothing else, I hope that my work will be timeless. I strive to find a balance between modernism and nostalgia, while keeping functionality in mind at all times. Lately I’ve been really enjoying exploring how colour can fit in to these goals as well.


What brought you to ceramics? Was there a pivotal moment in your past where you discovered it? Or was it a progression over a period of time?

What brought me to my work… I suppose it was a natural progression. A hobby that I spent much to much time on and eventually took the leap and committed to doing it every day and made it my life. I worried for a while that turning my passion into work would sour it for me but it became the opposite.


Tell us something about yourself that would surprise us!

I wear socks and sandals almost every day :O


Tell us about your first real break.

I want to say my first real break was the moment people started asking to purchase the stuff I was making. I never really planned to take it there so when that happened I guess I realized my potential.


What has been the biggest challenge of your artistic career that you’ve encountered so far?

The biggest challenge for me has been the repetition of production. I get so bored making the same thing over and over if I don’t make sure I have ‘playtime’ to experiment and create new pieces. When I find the balance between both, everything is perfect but it is not so easy to keep it that way.


What does your average day look like and when are you most productive?

My average day starts at 7. I wake up, get myself and my son ready, drop him at school and head to the studio. I go through emails and write out a plan for the day. I put on a playlist that fits the mood and throw, trim, hand build, glaze, photograph, and work until it is time for school pickup. After I put my son to bed I head back to the studio and finish up for the day. I find I am most productive in the morning and if I have any tedious tasks at the end of the night it takes me quite a while to get them done.


What or who inspires you to be your most creative self? And how do you overcome a creative block?

Reading about the creative pursuits of others inspires me to be my most creative self and when I find myself in a mental block I do just that. On top of that, travelling, new experiences, and letting myself get really, really bored. If I am away from my work and don’t have access to my studio, I tend to come up with many creative ideas.


What is your favourite place in the world? Is there anywhere you would still like to visit?

It’s a hard tie between Hornby Island and Japan for favourite place in the world. I have spent every summer of my life visiting Hornby Island and it comes with a lot of nostalgia for me. It is generally what I think about if I were to be told to think of my ‘happy place’. That being said, Tokyo calls to me. I love the culture and the approach to life there. I can see myself living there one day.


How would your friends describe you?

Stuborn, independant, compassionate, honest, blunt, social, and a bit zany.


If you could give advise to your 20-year-old self, what would it be?

Don’t discredit yourself because of your age and don’t take out so many student loans!


Tell us about your latest work, and anything that’s on the horizon for you?

I have been focusing quite a bit on creating texture in my work as well as introducing colour which is something I have never done before. I have been going wild with it and I plan to keep going!

Amanda Marie Ceramics

ADDRESS Interview with Amanda Marie Ceramics.