Artist Statement for Clay


I have adapted an indigenous horsehair reduction technique and applied it to forms that are inspired from the classical and Art Nouveau Periods.

The pieces are thrown, burnished, bisque, gold and horsehair fired. The horsehair firing involves laying the horsehair on the hot piece as if creating a black and white line painting. I follow the gold lines as cues and create line, smoke, luminous white and iridescent stone like artifacts.  

   Thru observation and understanding the subtle nuances of the color of the heat and how the heat is distributed on the ware, I determine when it is hot enough to receive the horsehair. The thicker hair is applied first proceeding to the thinner strands as the piece cools down.  All of the horsehair I have collected are from horses I know and I donate part of my profits to the care of these horses.



Artist Statement for photography

Inspired by my love for swimming, snorkeling and nature, I look towards the ocean as a creative muse. My images are of the tidal pools and estuaries from Maine to Key West and the Black Sea coast in Europe. When I am photographing, I feel the awe and grandeur of our fragile world. I am deeply concerned about the negative effects that humans have on our environment. By documenting small overlooked moments, I hope to share with others the beauty that is all around us.

The shooting process I have developed is from observations I have made over the years. My goal is to achieve a balance between logic and imagination and the ebb and flow of the natural world. I use a Nikon D-90 and a Karl Zeiss, Makro Planar 2/100m lens to capture small moments and make them bigger than life. I will work in a small area during different lighting situations for days. Hundreds of photos are taken in different focal planes representing the waters depths. I love being spontaneous during this process too; it enables me to see things I have never seen. A big bonus is when a creature visits for long periods of time in close proximity to me.

There are three photos in this portfolio that are straight shots with no digital changes. These works influence the digitally compiled pieces and create pause while viewing all of the work together. I like to blow the images up to 30X40 inches for this impressive grouping.


My horsehair Raku pieces have been shown in the Westmoreland Museum 2013, Associated Artist 99th and 100th annual at The Carnegie Museum of Art and The Pennsylvania State Museum, State of Art 2013, 2017 and 2018 exhibits. 

Select awards I have received are a Heinz Endowment Grant 2008, Westmoreland Art Nationals 2013, 2015 and 2016, NCECA 2012 grand Prize Bailey Pottery Ceramic Teacher Award, Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh, Associated Artist 100 Annual Exhibition “Friends of Art Purchase Award” 2011, Emerging Artist Award, Three Rivers Arts Festival, 2006


I am a member of The Silver Eye Center for Photography, the Associated Artist of Pittsburgh, and The Pittsburgh Society of Artists.  My work can be viewed in the following permanent collections: The Pittsburgh Public Schools, The Neighborhood Academy, private collections (including Jack Warner) and

 Please contact me at

facebook: fineartsbysandra

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Post Gazette June 25th 2017