Biography — Amy Higgason
From early childhood I was interested in making art. Because I'm a practical girl, I decided to study commercial art and received my BFA in Graphic Design from the University of Illinois. After working as a designer for many years I craved other creative outlets. I began attending various community center pottery classes. Eventually I found Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago. My passion for clay was truly nurtured there. I studied with a variety of instructors and visiting artists for 5 years. Then I became a private studio member and teacher at Lillstreet.
In April of 2003 I left my position as Art Director in a Chicago marketing firm and relocated to Wisconsin's Northwoods to pursue my pottery career. I took a position at Riverrun Center in McNaughton, Wisconsin. As a Resident Artist I was able to work daily in the studio, teach classes, and help manage a gallery. In the fall of 2004, this self-described "city girl" decided to make the Northwoods her permanent home. I bought a "little blue house in the woods” in Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin and built my studio (Pigeon Road Pottery) in 2005. After juggling pottery making and part time jobs for more than 10 years, I made the leap to full-time potter in the fall of 2014.
Now I navigate the rough waters and gentle waves of my life as a self supporting artist, learning from every success and failure. I've never been happier.
Artist Statement — Amy Higgason
Throwing clay is exhilarating. On the first night I sat at a potter’s wheel, the feeling of wet clay spinning through my fingers drew me in. With my hands I can form a bowl, cup or plate from a lump of clay. Years later, it still amazes me.
I’ve always loved to draw. My mom has a large collection of my childhood doodles. From early on my favorite subjects were plants and flowers. First with crayon, then with ink and now on clay. I wrap drawings and patterns around three-dimensional forms that I’ve created on the wheel. The marriage of two disciplines fascinates me. Creating the right balance is my focus.
After moving from Chicago to a rural forested community my carving became even more botanical. On hikes I search for unexpected forms in the woods and colors in the water. I draw inspiration from the wildflowers, ferns and seed pods that cover my property in the summer. During the long winter months I search for them in my imagination – just like I did as a kid.
Because carving is labor intensive I spend a long time interacting with each piece. My goal is to make my marks loose and spontaneous... as if they grew from the piece itself. Over time I’ve developed a “catalog” of personal imagery. This allows me to carve with unplanned, impulsive abandon.