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Pottery & Ceramics

Amanda Stowers

            Pottery & Ceramics

Tatau Pottery & Ceramics

Hand-Thrown and Hand-Carved

All of my pottery is hand thrown on the wheel using white, black or speckled stoneware and each piece that I make is unique and one-of-a-kind. With pottery becoming very popular in the handmade space, I noticed a lack of representation of Pasifika culture within the space and wanted to change that. All of my pieces are carved by hand to include Pasifika tatau motifs inspired by my Samoan culture, and all carving is done completely freehand. 

After each piece is thrown, I allow it to sit and dry until it has reached the "leather hard" stage. It's at this stage that I carve my motifs, add handles, feet or drainage holes. All motifs are meticulously carved by hand using small ribbon tools, with a diligent attention to detail. When carving motifs I truly believe that patience is the most important tool. 

Once carved and bone-dry, all pieces are fired in an electric bisque kiln firing. Once they've been fired they are official ceramic. At this stage I glaze the bisque-ware by hand, oftentimes with multiple layers of glaze per piece. All of my glaze combinations are proprietary, as I spend many hours of trial and error to obtain specific color combinations and effects. Once glazed the pieces are fired in a final glaze kiln firing. 

I find pottery to be a skill set that requires not only attention to detail and patience, but love as well. You really must love what you are creating to spend the time needed to produce a piece from start to finish. This of course includes some heartbreak as pottery can be very unpredictable and not every piece will survive, which means pottery teaches us to be humble and go with the flow.