The story of Amused Studios
Hi we're Sarah and Robbie, we have been learning and practicing the art of clay since 2005. We started Amused Studios in 2007 to sell our wares at festivals and wholesale to local businesses or non-profits, we started teaching pottery at art galleries and taking private students in our home studio. We currently teach at The Art League of Ocean City where Rob is also the studio manager. We continue to make custom orders for a variety of local art galleries, retailers, individuals, ect.
Find our work at The Art League of Ocean City, Blackwater Apothecary, Health Freedom, Burley Oak Brewery, Evolution Brewery, Algonquin 50K. Find us at The National Folk Festival in Salisbury at Soul Yoga for 2022.
We learned our craft at Salisbury University where Sarah began taking ceramic classes in 2005 with Marie Cavallero while earning a bachelor's degree in Philosophy. Sarah introduced Rob to the studio then started taking clay home to work on pottery together. We were hired as studio technicians in 2007, we learned under the guidance of teachers in the 3-D department at SU. We have had opportunities to learn from many other great artists including James and Marjorie Hill who both taught at SU until retiring, Marjorie was brought up in a pottery studio her mother Gladys Remde was a potter and her father a wood worker. The linage of pottery was passed down generations to us. James Hill also taught sculpture as well as ceramic arts and has been an influential force which can be seen in Robbies work. Rob also took workshops with Steven Hill another big influence on his style which can be seen in Robs use of sprayed glazes and undulating forms. Meeting John Cheer, seeing his work in person and taking workshops with him was a pivotal influence especially in Sarahs work and his influence can be seen in Sarah’s wall art series. We also worked with Karen Bearman at SU, a gentle guiding force encouraging us not to take it too seriously, and to enjoy what we do, she still teaches at Hinkley Pottery Studio in D.C. Learning from so many artists and from such a diverse group has lead to a deep respect for the art of clay. We hope to extend our experience to others who want to learn about the ancient and ever evolving art form.
Sarah and Rob have had many shared experiences through classes, workshops, and studying art but we have internalized the experiences differently and have allowed ourselves to utilize the experiences differently by creating their own styles and aesthetics. Our biggest hope is that we do not teach others to make work like ours, but instead, find their own voice in clay.
Sarah has focused specifically on color spending many hours learning glaze chemistry. She has created a number of her own glazes and slips and is very inspired by the spectrum of the rainbow. She wants to make every color possible and often glazes the orders that Rob hand crafts.
Rob’s focus has been on throwing classic bulbous forms and using Saggar firing techniques which he experimented with to create his own unique process and recipe. Robbie likes to channel his inner archeologist creating bottles that look like they could have been used by our ancient ancestors. He burnishes the clay until it shines then finishes with a subtle sparkle slip on the surface. Choosing to then low fire the work with techniques like acid wash saggar to create red mottled surfaces and horse hair and feather raku for a dramatic black and white finish.
Sarah encourages her students to embrace the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi, a philosophy based on accepting imperfection, derived from the Buddhist teaching which calls to Sarah who received a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Salisbury University.
Exploration and research have given me a deep understanding of material and process. Through this understanding I express to my students and patrons a finer understanding of the ceramic medium.
Rob strives to help students understand intention and approach the clay by encouraging it into shape rather than forcing it. With a patient and calm voice I try and distill my mastery into comprehensive and actionable lessons to advance them beyond what they imagined they could achieve.
The Clay Guild:
We also work with The Clay Guild of the Eastern Shore who's mission is to create more opportunities for artists who work with Clay. Rob was elected the president of the Clay Guild November 6, 2013. Sarah was elected the Vice president the same day but later took on the role as secretary to utilize her skills to better help the CG. We started organizing workshops and Clay-a-palooza to bring the community together to appreciate the art of clay and build knowledge with in the artists of the clay guild and to also help the general public have the opportunity to see a wide range of what clay can do by showing lots of clay artists in one space. Currently Clay-a-palooza is a yearly exhibition in June held at The Art League of Ocean City, in MD.