A Midwesterner her entire life, Amanda Barr grew up in small town rural Missouri, daughter of a pharmacist and a carpenter. Her artistic streak came from her father’s side of the family; spending summers at the woodworking studio and building houses with her father and uncles, rubber stamping with her grandmother, and drawing or painting on any available surface, including the walls. As she got older, more academic pursuits caught her interest, and she went on to receive both a BA and MA in Spanish Literature.
It was while working on her master’s at Kansas State that Amanda first touched clay. It was a reawakening to create something with her hands after years of books, papers and computers. By the time she graduated and took a community college position in Iowa, she was spending nearly all her free time in the studio. Two years later she was in her own studio working full time in ceramics.
Amanda’s work reflects her many influences; her decoration technique was developed out of time spent rubber stamping with her grandmother. Much of her imagery stem from a childhood of watching campy TV shows & movies with her family and from her younger brother’s fascination with history. All her years reading Cervantes and García Márquez are evident in her frequent use of literary text in her work.
Creating work with my hands is the most satisfying feeling in the world. Using the clay as a canvas, I work to blur the line between functionality and fine art; I create pieces that can hang on your wall or live in your cabinet to be used daily. I enjoy bringing inspiration, creativity and individuality into everyday life.
My work is inspired by my background in literature, thematically as well as being a source for much of my text and my love of vintage illustrations. I frequently juxtapose imagery and text in ways that can range from humorous to whimsical to slightly macabre.
My printing technique is developed out of spending time rubber-stamping collages with my grandmother when I was young; those memories inspired me to translate that particular graphic print quality to clay. I love that the present reflects the past in so many ways.
All work copyright © 2012 Amanda Barr/Notengomiedo