Amy’s Writing About Her Artwork:
In addition to a B.F.A. in ceramics, I have a degree in earth science. Studying the two subjects simultaneously had some obvious material intersections, but my lab courses served as an investigation into mapping that has continued to influence my artwork. When looking at a landscape I try to imagine the the time and storms that deposited each layer, and the subsequent events that shifted those formations, or the rivers that slowly but dramatically cut through them. My work is similarly composed of vulnerable parts solidified into a more powerful whole.
Everything I make is made very slowly. Layers and layers of the smallest coils pile up one at a time. My hands are the primarily tool, each rope individually rolled and pinched directly to its barely older sibling. I consider each coil like a stitch in a knitted sweater, that doesn’t stand out as an individual loop, but if broken would unravel the whole garment. Similar to yarn, the viewer can’t see where each coil starts or ends, but they can see the texture when woven together, which is left exposed on the exterior, but cleanly smoothed on the interior.
I choose materials very intentionally because I do very little to cover them in the end. I value honesty in material, and want to viewer to see the color of the clay and feel the weight of the paper. Simple clear glazes are used to line or seal, and sometimes a small section of precious luster is added to highlight one particular line or shape. When colors shift gradually over a piece it’s from blending two clay bodies together while building, rather than painting or staining afterwards.
The repetition in my making process lends itself to mediation. I often reflect on a specific event, person or idea over the course of rolling hundreds or thousands of coils for one piece. The subject of this meditation is embodied in the final vessel. Titles have become more important as they are often the only insight into these muses.
Amy Simons was born in Ohio, raised in Minnesota and currently lives in Washington state. She hopes to visit all 50 states before turning 30, with only 8 states and 4 years left to go. Amy received her BFA in ceramics from the University of Washington and recently finished a residency at Pottery Northwest in Seattle, WA. In addition to sculpting in clay, Amy is a printmaker, teacher and adventurous home cook.