guest post: “show us your influences” with Amanda Barr

So you may have noticed that starting last friday I’ve begun (what will hopefully become) another weekly feature on the blog. Inspiration comes from numerous obvious and sometimes less clear sources. Fridays will now be a chance for readers of musing to share what inspires them.  So drop me a line with a few lines about you, your inspirations (3 artists, not neccessarily clay based) and some images and join in the fun!
Thanks in advance

My inspirations by Amanda Barr:
Author Neil Gaiman
Molly Hatch
Jason Bige Burnett
work is very much a reflection of my personality; bright, colorful, and
highly imaginative. Reality has often been painful, so I and in turn my
work, seek escape in other worlds. Seeing creatures in passing clouds,
dreaming of alternate worlds, delving into books about eras long past
make each day a new and fun adventure, for myself and I hope those who
use my work.
Gaiman writes some of the best science fiction and fantasy worlds in
literature today. His writing is funny, sad, exciting and above all
heart-felt. From his adult fiction (Startdust, Neverwhere, Anasi Boys,
Sandman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane) to young adult and children’s
books (Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Chu’s Day) he has never failed to
capture me completely. His 2012 commencement address-turned-book “Make
Good Art” is my go-to when I need extra motivation to keep going.

work has that blend of simple (form) and complex (surface) that has,
since I first saw a piece several years back, called to me. Playful yet
poignant, his work is everything I’ve strived to create. His subtle
manner of storytelling is some of the best around, and of course he is
as beautiful a person as his work.

Hatch’s work first spoke to me because of the historical references- I
loved Wedgewood long before I ever began working with clay. Her more
recent design work- moving into fabric, wallpaper, glassware- is
something I am fascinated with and would love to someday do myself. What
I love most about Molly is how she has elevated the functional pot into
artwork with her displays of teacups and teapots in frames and of
course her “plate painting” pieces such as Physic Garden with the High

emerging artist: Amanda Barr

My ceramic work is an exploration of
color, graphic imagery and text on porcelain. I enjoy the intimacy of
using functional objects as narrative vehicles for my inner
monologue. These objects then become part of the user’s narrative,
becoming part of their daily life through the ritual of use and by
decorating their living spaces. Each piece is a reflection of myself,
and in choosing to accept it into their life, it also reflects the

I am often inspired by my background in
literature, thematically as well as being a source for much of my
text and my love of vintage illustrations. Through books one can
travel through time, to faraway lands… anywhere the imagination can
create. My work is an extension of my love of reading; it is about
expression and escapism, imagination and history. I want to make work
that will capture the imagination and create a dialogue with the
viewer, force them to think and dream and make their own journeys.