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Sanam Emami

My pots and tiles are made with a specific intent – a function. Plates, cups and tiles are ubiquitous and recognizable. The vases and their multiple spouts are curious when empty, when filled with flowers their function is revealed. The tile is a background or canvas. The cup provides a counterpoint – the curves and movement of the form interact with the surface pattern and imagery. The parameters of the functional pot simultaneously create boundaries and endless possibilities.


My ideas come from different places; a book, a conversation, or a glimpse of something familiar like an old favorite pot that can seem new, as if seen for the first time. The studio space is where the concepts and inspiration take shape and become tangible and dimensional. The concept of unity with variety is important to me. For example, combining soft marks and volumes with crisp edges and lines. I am interested in creating contrasting gestures that can coexist within a pot or a tile through mark making, symmetry, and repeated patterns. 


As a student I was drawn to ceramics for its apparent connections with and veneration of “women’s work”.  The deep history of clay seemed to reveal connections between women and the material, taking shape in depictions of domestic rituals and ancient fertility goddesses. This history of ceramics and its connections with slow, methodical work – less visible yet necessary for the survival of societies – has often been marginalized to the more dominant narratives of ceramics in 20th century art: one of heroic virtuosity and singular objects.

Fort Colins, Colorado