Story

WELCOME

Hi, I’m Amelia. I grew up in Northern Vermont and I now reside along the south Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington. I work out of my home studio make all the vessels you will find here.

In 2015, while finishing my degree in Environmental Studies at Naropa University, I began selling pots (under the name Two Hands Full) with no knowledge of where it would lead to. When I first started selling my work/giving it to friends, I was amazed at how radically these pots were changing some folks relationship to food and eating habits. Taking their time to enjoy a meal rather than rushing to eat, having a morning ritual with their coffee mug rather than rushing out the door and getting coffee in a disposable cup, cooking nourishing food rather than going out- simply holding more awareness around WHAT they were feeding themselves. However you may find joy in using these pieces, my hope is they will inspire you to find a moment of pause. To slow down and be present in the 3-d world around you.

When I am not in the studio, you can most often find me in the woods with my two dogs, knitting, cooking, gardening, learning about plant medicine, playing records, or watching re-runs of The Office after a long day. I feel strongly about practicing compassion (both for self and others) and living a slow, “buddhist-leaning” lifestyle. I care deeply for the earth and all inhabitants upon it.

(Cancer sun, Capricorn rising, Taurus moon. Human Design: 2/5 Emotional Projector. 5 Elements: Earth/Metal. INFP-T. )

(above photos by Taylor Jones)

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THE PROCESS

Each piece you see here on my website is made individually by my two hands. A lump of clay is transformed into a vessel throughout the process of wedging, throwing, trimming, drying, and glazing. I fire each pot twice in an electric kiln- the first firing is the bisque firing (where bone dry pieces enter the kiln and reach about 1900 degrees), and the second is the glaze firing (where the then glazed pieces get up to 2232 degrees). It is an incredibly time consuming process, each vessel taking about two weeks to go through the stages- getting picked up and worked on countless times.

photo by jaquilyn shumate

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Throwing

I began working with clay in 2008 and quickly became entranced by the beauty of the time consuming process that is throwing pots on a wheel. From the beginning, it was the process more than finished pot that I felt most connected to. I loved how centering each lump of clay acted as a mirror into what was happening in my inner climate- a sort of therapy. I saw how when my body and mind relaxed, as did the ease of forming a vessel…and in contrast if I was tense and not present, it led to fighting the clay.

In every way, making these vessels is a contemplative/spiritual practice- similar for me to that of Tai Chi or Ikebana. My work arises from slowing down, sinking into the heart and breath, and engaging with the tools, materials, and creative process in front of me. It is one of the things that keeps me inspired and grounded in the studio, especially on long days.

I love how functional art pieces serve a purpose beyond their aesthetic- for both the maker and the consumer. There is so much healing, joy, and learning that each peice brings to its maker before they go out the door. Their journey truly begins well before they get put to use for the first time.

Design

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My designs are strongly rooted in the hues, textures, and feels of landscapes that attract my curiosity. I am intrigued by the way we feel the earth around us and how more than the shape or symbol of, say, a tree- there is a felt sense when standing at its base or gazing up into the canopy of its leaves. My soul feels at ease in such a different way while meandering between canyon walls of a washed out river bed in New Mexico than it does in the depths of the dark and secluded forest here in Western Washington. I hope to create vessels that stir up similar emotions- open to personal interpretation without my own literal symbolism of said places that inspire me. Perhaps expressionism in pottery.

photo by jacki potorke

Sustainability

studio photos by Jaquilyn Shumate

Shortly after I started this business, I began to see the niche that pottery can have in the Environmental Movement and Slow Food revolution- both very dear to my heart. In order to move from a linear economy to one rooted in triple-bottom-line businesses devoted to something bigger and more meaningful…there must be alternatives. The role of the craftsman is paramount to a shift in consumerism as well as the health of our local communities and economies. With growth, and as I refine and evolve my mission as a potter, I look to add to and support these movements as much as I can.

You will see that I do my best to weave this priority in as much as possible. Plastic-free/recyclable packaging, donating to nonprofits both monetarily and by way of pieces to community-led organizations like Still We Rise, partnering only with shops and individuals striving to make a difference, offsetting my carbon footprint for travel (I use Native Energy), and doing my best to source materials locally and by businesses who also align with my ethics.

I feel strongly that we as business owners and makers have a large social responsibility in a time of moral crises as exhibited by those running our country and leading our economic system. Earth first.

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photo by Jacki Potorke

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INFLUENCES + INSPIRATIONS

because no artist is without those who came before...here is my reference page of sorts.
Books

Jayber Crow

Wendell Berry

Centering

M.C. Richards

Cultures of Habitat

Gary Nabhan

Pottery Form

Daniel Rhodes

Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior

Chögyam Trungpa

Cold Mountain Poems

Gary Snyder
Albums

Blues For Allah

Grateful Dead

Deja Vu

CSNY

Blowout Comb

Digable Planets

Live

Erykah Badu

Cats Under the Stars

Jerry Garcia Band

On the Beach

Neil Young

Gaucho

Steely Dan

Bonnie Raitt

Bonnie Raitt

Aretha Arrives

Aretha Franklin
Spaces

Abiquiu, New Mexico

While living in Colorado, I adopted a sort of pilgrimage down to Taos/Abiquiu every year. I began going at a time in my life when I was looking to embrace my independent nature- having a renaissance of self. I decided to go and explore the places where Georgia O’Keeffe lived and painted that felt near and dear to my heart since being a young child surrounded by her work in our home. I went unaware of how more than anything, I connected to Miss O’Keeffe there through the timing of the trip and the way she as well moved west in order to find her footing alongside the natural world. For me she is a pioneer woman in the sense of redefining what it means to be in connection with the landscape as a woman and artist. This place represents that to me. My dog Piper was also found in New Mexico when she was 3 months old- and I do feel when we would go she felt like she was also home.

The Colorado Front Range

Douglas Firs, Yucca and prickly pear, Big bluestem grass, Indian Paintbrush, and rabbitbrush. This place was home for me for many years while in Boulder. I got to know the trails and plants by walking them nearly everyday with my dog, Piper. Witnessing the seasons shifting- when the grasses would turn dry, prickly pears set fruit, yuccas blossom, aspens light up, and the gumweed oooze goo…The merging of biomes here along the Front Range is an incredibly special place to me.

In many ways I grew into myself here- spending ages 18-24 living in Boulder. I began to see first hand how taking a walk in the natural world was truly the best teacher. Any trying emotion I was feeling could be supported and mended (at the very least, temporarily). My dog walks (in the woods, along the shore, in the desert) have become an incredibly important part of my life, and something I owe much of my sanity to!

Champlain Valley of Vermont

I grew up here, just east of Lake Champlain, in the fertile Champlain Valley in Charlotte, Vermont. The ancient rolling mountains with Camels Hump, organic farms and the culture/community they foster, fireflies, creemees, stark seasons, sugarbush, and swimming holes. I learned how to work on a farm here, tend the earth while growing food for a large community of people. I learned both what a hard, long day of work looked/felt like (as well as the reward), and the importance of supporting local organic farms- how vital they are to an area. I grew up with the New England values of self-reliance, humility, and grit. Vermont will always be home.
Other

Critical Conversations with Gretchen Jones

Gretchen Jones is the business Doula. We had two sessions, but even after the first I felt more invigorated and inspired than I have in a long time to really look at my business practice/ethos head-on and make some shifts to drop into my authenticity as a creator and entrepreneur. So much was packed into just that hour- coming from all the angles (spiritual, emotional, economical, social, environmental, physical…). I was surprised to see how much came up for me emotionally- as well as Gretchen’s intuitive powers that were very apparent.

See for yourself

Loving Kindness Meditation

Putting in the work for unconditional compassion- both for the self and others. I found this meditation a few years ago and it has strengthened my work in this area immensely. Especially to explore/mend the inner voices that tend to be quite hard on myself. I believe in compassion as a religion- something I feel incredibly drawn to understand and work with myself on fully.

Mindfulness Based Therapy

The days where there was a stigma around going to therapy are OVER, people. This has been something keystone to my wellbeing as a business owner, artist, and engaged human. If you have access, I truly believe finding a mindfulness based therapist in your area is the best thing you can do to reach your highest self. We all have demons, many more than we may think…give yourself the space to heal and learn how to truly thrive. For yourself, your partner, your friends, your community…
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