Amy Manson Puts the Fun in Functional Pottery

December 15, 2010

by Kimberly McCann-Pierce

“It found me,” says Amy Manson when asked how she settled upon pottery as her artistic medium. Talking over wine during an ice storm Amy agreed to take a pottery class with a friend. “It was pretty instantaneous,” she says, describing her kinship with pottery.

Amy draws her inspiration from nature. “I really like things that are found in nature. Clays and colors that are earth tone.” When she started, Amy strove for geometric perfection, the perfect clay pot or piece with contours and lines without flaw. As her artistic voice grew, she began to experiment in what she describes as “the fun and funky hand building” side of pottery.

Her Leesburg, Virginia studio is spotted with both the specificity of wheelwork and the hand fashioned clay shapes of funk. Amy describes hand building as “more instant”, giving the creator something useable right away. The flexibility of hand building permits patterning or free flowing creativity. While traditional wheelwork is strong in identifiable shape and contour, giving an easily recognized piece an immediate sense of place, hand patterning is different.

Amy’s hand patterned clay art ranges from twists, bends, speckles, and colorful dollops to delicately filigreed images inspired by birds, trees, Earth. Display shelves in her home studio boast trays with funky splash, artfully jagged lines, and trendy backgrounds. Next to the hand-patterned creations, geometrically perfect drinking cups line the shelves, popular pieces Amy designs for weddings and gift giving.

She sees herself moving more in the direction of creating the perfect imperfect piece, blending different artistic modalities to create something both fun and functional. I spot some pieces haphazardly placed on a bottom shelf and ask about them. “Oh, those are just my seconds,” she smiles. In looking around her studio, I find nothing but first rate artistic expression.

In addition to transforming clay, Amy also teaches several pottery courses throughout Loudoun County. Currently her work can viewed and purchased at the Gateway Gallery at: http://www.thegatewaygallery.com/. For more about Amy and her artistic journey visit the Gateway Gallery home page biography at: http://www.thegatewaygallery.com/bio/AmyMansonBio.pdf.

Her teaching venues include:

The Round Hill Art Center, Round Hill, VA 2010
Children’s Ceramic Instructor
Handbuilding Instructor

The Old Furniture Factory, Round Hill, VA 2010
Adjunct Advanced Wheel Instructor
Beginning Wheel Instructor

ArtSquare, Leesburg, VA 2010
Children’s Ceramic/Art Instructor
“Get Me Started With Clay” Instructor

You can also follow Amy’s pottery adventures on her blog at http://amymansonpottery.blogspot.com/


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