Head of Crafts Amanda, from Print and Clay, is not only an avid crafter but is in her residency for ceramic artistry! She isn't just making her crafts but living it. Keep on living the dream, Amanda. Read more below.
GCX: What or who first peaked your interest in arts and crafts?
My dad is a carpenter, so handmade has always been a part of my life. Both my grandmothers are huge crafters (crochet and papercrafts), and I was sick a lot as a kid, so I spent a lot of time crafting with them.
GCX: Why did you decide that you would make a specific type of craft?
I took a community clay class during grad school (Spanish Literature) as a way to relax, and got hooked.
GCX: How do you feel about the artisan crafting community and their ability to benefit from GeekCraft Expo?
I applaud any venue for bringing crafts to the world, and creating a venue specifically for "geek" craft is an excellent idea!
GCX: Are you from the Portland area? If not initially, what brought you here?
I just moved to Seattle for a ceramic artist residency.
GCX: What is your favorite thing about creating your product and being able to sell it to people personally vs. through sites like Etsy?
I hate shipping. I don't know anyone who makes fragile items who loves it. So much bubble wrap! It's also fun to talk to people and leave my studio.
GCX: What is the story of how you got to this point (beginning to now)?
I've been doing fine art ceramics for about eight years now, but a couple of years ago a friend asked me to make about 200 bowls for a new restaurant he was opening, and to create that quantity within the budget I started using slip cast molds rather than throwing each piece by hand. That project led me to start my Print & Clay line, all cast work that is more affordable for the average person, and it took off! It also allows me to be more of a geek- you don't see a lot of TARDIS-es in art galleries, but on Etsy and at craft fairs it's great.
GCX: Is it important for people to understand that your product is not “mass produced"? Why?
Even though I make multiples of each design, there is no factory. It's all me in my 100 sq ft studio, printing and glazing every piece by hand. I think that individual care for each piece of a person you can MEET is part of the joy of owning one of these objects!
GCX: What is the most special thing to you about your business?
Sharing my sense of humor, and making people laugh.
GCX: What do you want to do with your crafts long term?
Keep making them.
GCX: Are you picking this particular location because you live here or do you travel to multiple shows a year?
I used to travel a lot, but since I'm in a residency program, I'm only going to do a couple of shows this year. I think Portland is a great spot for this, and it's close by.
GCX: What do you like about the overall arts and craft experience?
It makes you appreciate so much more in life. Someone had to figure out how to make everything we take for granted. It's amazing.
Thanks, Amanda. We think what you are doing is amazing, and we aim to celebrate everyone who does crafts for fun or is interested in taking it to the next level. We enjoyed your insight and looked forward to seeing you at GeekCraft PDX.