Exploring Clay with Amanda Hummes
Sometimes you find ceramics that are so beautiful and timeless, it almost forces you to gasp. That's what happened to me as soon as I laid eyes on Amanda Hummes's work. Amanda is passionate about studying Visual Arts, in all of its aspects: from history to fine technique. Deeply into hand-built ceramics, Amanda is exploring new possibilities to this ancient practice.
Tell us who you are.
Hello, this is Amanda, I'm a Brazilian 30 year old woman. I have a chocolate Labrador called Billie (Holiday), who brightens my days. I like to spend my time on my craft: messing with clay. I'm always up to discover new places and really enjoy nature. I moved to California with my husband, who is a musician, in 2017. That was the greatest challenge of my life.
What does home mean to you?
Home to me means a warm, cozy place. A safe place where I can unwind and be with people I love. Home to me is a space for knowledge exchange, through books, records, art and cuisine.
How do you practice self-care?
I actually don't have a self care routine, but I like to walk to the beach every morning to take in some sunlight. I like to light up an incense to clean the air and to drink mate - which gives me energy!
What inspires you to create?
There are so many different sources for my inspiration, that I find it difficult to name just a few. I love to study art produced by ancient native civilizations. The forms and techniques that these ancient people developed definitely inspire me. Nature greatly inspires me, as well as architecture, art and music.
How did you get into making ceramics?
I started to work with clay in 2016, in Brazil when I was doing my bachelors degree for visual arts, Though, in fact, I believe that all of us have had an experience with clay, at some level - even without realizing.
What are your favorite kinds of objects to make?
The objects I like to create the most are vases. In general the method I use is the coil technique. I feel that by utilizing this approach I have a better connection with the material, since I spend hours handling one single piece. I don't know why, but recently I've been in love with making fruit bowls. Maybe because I always have so many fruits at home and needed some beautiful pieces to place them in.
What advice can you give ceramicists who are still learning?
The only thing I would say to whoever wants to start learning ceramics is to find a studio where you can fire your pieces. There's no ceramics without firing. I also would say: just start! At first, it may seem challenging, however nothing is more unbelievably amazing than to work with organic materials. Discovering the different paths you can take with clay is incredibly rewarding as well.