We are so impressed with the strong line-work and vibrant color featured in Ana's work! Her ability to merge images of skulls with stylized Scandinavian flowers and vines to create beautiful patterns and motifs is inspiring.
What inspired you to work with clay?
I can almost pinpoint the moment I fell in love with clay. I was in high school and lucky enough to have the most wonderful, patient and compassionate ceramics teacher, Paul Needham. He shared his love of clay with each of his students and from my first project I was hooked. Working in the ceramics studio gave me a feeling of acceptance and a place I could be myself. I am thankful everyday for Mr. Needham’s support and encouragement.
What inspires your work?
It is hard to say one thing that inspires my work. As a teaching artist my students drive me to be better every day! My work is a reflection of my love of Scandinavian floral pattern combined with my interest in taxidermy and the culture of the American southwest.
What’s your favorite thing about clay?
The community. Clay brings people together. I am so lucky to be surrounded by amazing artists. My clay community is so strong thanks to my ceramics soul sisters and teaching team Natalie Steinmetz and Deborah Katz-Sampson.
What is most challenging about pursuing ceramics?
Finding time to do my own work. As a teaching artist is is so hard to find time to make work that is solely mine. That balance of teacher and artist is hard to navigate. Finding time and energy to produce is my hardest challenge.
Which AMACO products do you return to that inform your work?
The AMACO Velvet Underglazes! They forever have my heart! I teach and work in a studio that fires to cone 10. I had to find a product that allowed me to achieve not only a matte finish but also could stand up to my tight designs in the high heat. The Velvets work like a dream. They fire so beautifully to cone 10 and help me find my voice in clay.
If you could only listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
LIZZO, Coconut Oil! She speaks to my inner queen!
Who was your childhood hero?
My mom. She still is my hero. She is the woman and teacher I strive to be everyday of my life!
If you could hop on a plane right now and go anywhere, where would you go and why?
Finland, because I love their design aesthetic and I would love to experience a society where the education system is working and thriving!
When you aren’t making art, how do you spend your time?
Preferably on a beach in Michigan, surrounded by friends, family and dogs.