ARTIST INTERVIEW: Heidi Anderson
Heidi Anderson makes ceramic agateware pottery vases, planters, and sculptures inspired by folk art and pottery. Her approach to her ceramic craft is informed by her back ground in painting – she creates designs with a inlay method called agateware or Nerikomi that combines different colors of clay. Her art comes from an appreciation of forms found in nature, geometric shapes, and the hand hewn in methods of craft. She is inspired by the many possibilities that working with clay offers and the endless ways it guides her imagination.
We spoke to Heidi about her creative journey.
Describe the path that led you to the work you do now.
I started working with clay because I wanted to create in a different way and to experiment with sculpture after painting in 2D for the majority of my time as an artist. Soon after completely immersing myself in clay I was asked to make a few vases for the wonderful floral business Moon canyon. At the time I didn’t have access to glazes and so it forced me be inventive and to develop my own style using the agate ware technique. I really enjoyed the results and it proved to be integral to the work I continue to make.
What would you say is the driving force behind your creative work?
The driving force behind making art is that it provides the fuel that sustains me monetarily and spiritually, and in turn helps me keep growing into the person I want to be.
What is a new idea you have been working with recently?
I’ve been experimenting with colored clay more this year which is exciting because it brings elements of painting into the whole process and allows me to work with narrative and composition in different ways.
I’ve also returned to drawing again which has a refreshing immediacy and spontaneity to it that feels like a good balance to the more careful considerations that go into making ceramics.
Do you think community is important to creativity? If so, how?
I’ve recently discovered how important community has come to be for me. It is a way to celebrate and hold up our collective accomplishments and endeavors in a really positive and inclusive way.
Did you have any artists or creative people in your family? If so, how did they influence you?
I come from a family of makers. My dad was an architect and water colorist and my mom is a creative person who loves to make botanical drawings among other things. My sister is a great artist as well and got her BFA in painting from the University of WA and remains my best confidant and inspiration with my own work.