Hi, I’m Amelia. I am native to the old hills of Northern Vermont, and I now reside along the south Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where I have a home studio and 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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
INFLUENCES + INSPIRATIONS
because no artist is without those who came before...here is my reference page of sorts.
Cultures of Habitat
Shambhala: The Sacred Path of the Warrior
Cold Mountain Poems
Blues For Allah
Cats Under the Stars
Jerry Garcia Band
On the Beach
Abiquiu, New Mexico
The Colorado Front Range
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!