About Andryea

Andryea received her BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and has worked in a variety of mediums including drawing, painting, printmaking, mosaic and ceramic over the years.

Her award winning mosaic work has been shown in several prestigious publications as well as national and international juried exhibitions. Her attention today is focused on the three dimensional medium of ceramics. For the past two years she has been showing her functional ceramic work locally and winning awards.

Andryea’s work is inspired and guided by her intuitive response in any given moment and is exemplified by the interplay and contrast between elements…patterns, shapes and textures she finds in nature.


Artist Statement

Where do the points of consciousness and unconsciousness intersect? This question fascinates and intrigues me. No matter how I express myself, mine is a journey of self-exploration… of deliberately tuning in… of listening for and to my inner voice… of allowing it to guide and direct. It’s a curious place, the intersection of conscious and unconscious.

I rarely study a subject for a long time. Instead, I quiet my mind and hands waiting for inspiration to move me. Invariably, one thing leads to another (when I don’t interfere) until I have what is created right there in front of me. I feel privileged to be able to create from this sacred space.

This is the essence of ceramic work. It comes from the inside out with no exact plan or forethought. It’s magical when I have clay in my hands. I am moved to create any number of forms and shapes; all organic in nature. Much of what I am making today are functional pieces… dishes, bowls, plates, platters etc. in addition to raw materials for mosaic making. I love working with slabs, particularly those thrown by hand, because of their unique characteristics. Rarely are they uniform and often they possess what I call a ‘live’ edge, similar to a tree, it’s a natural expression of that one piece of clay.

I embellish the surface of the ceramic forms using two different techniques. One is called sgraffito, which in Italian means ‘to scratch’ This is a method where I literally scratch or draw lines through a layer of black underglaze that I apply to leather hard clay revealing the white clay beneath it. Incising or carving designs on the leather hard clay surface is another technique. Black underglaze is applied after the piece is bisque fired then it is wiped off the surface revealing all the incised and carved lines, patterns, textures and characteristics.

Along with the shape or form of the pieces the images, patterns and marks I make are both inspired and derived from my relationship to nature and the natural world in and around me. The repetitive patterns are meditative and allow space for the germination and discovery of what comes next. It’s an exciting process because I never know what a piece will look like until it’s finished. Often, I’m surprised.

~Andryea Natkin