Pottery as Cash | Sam Parry | Episode 302

Sam Parry | Episode 302

Sam Parry is an art teacher for the Meridian School District, a ski instructor at Jackson Hole Ski resort, and a ceramist. Throwing on the wheel has been a passion of Sam’s since he was in high school. Making art that is both functional and beautiful is Sam’s ultimate goal. Knowing that someone uses Sam’s art in their daily lives is what he loves about making pottery.





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How do you contain yourself with all the excitement you have going on right now and being able to focus on just doing the next thing?

I think for me, it comes down to I’m a big list guy. I start to make lists and try to tackle those lists as it goes. For me it was, first you’ve got to get the kiln, then you’ve got to get the wheel, then you’ve got to get the tools, now I’ve got to get the clay. That’s kind of how I have been going about it and tackle what’s on the list next.


Where does your creativity come from? Is it nurtured or is it what you were born with?

I think I was definitely influenced by my Oma, she’s from Holland. She was a painter her whole life. My father is an amazing wood craftsman and my mom was really good at needle-point. Her needle-point is less decorative and more artistic because it is extremely detailed and she is unbelievable at it. So I think I always had art around me and my parents were always stressing the importance of the arts. We traveled quite a bit and when we were traveling we always went to museums. As I look back it was pretty cool that I saw all those Rembrandts and things. I think I get influence from them and then my dad is such a good craftsman that he makes entertainment centers and tables and they are always perfect and beautiful. So when I make a bowl I want it to be perfect and beautiful. I get a lot of inspiration from him.

What is more attractive to you, old or new?

Well I bought a house from 1953 and I love the charm and the old. I am a huge traditional guy. I love traditions, so I love anything that has time. So I would say I like old way better than new.

You have tons of stuff going on. What has you the most pumped?

Well it has to be getting my own studio going so I can do my own thing. Kind of selfish but not teaching the kids and finally getting to do what Sam Perry wants to do and seeing what my art path takes me on. I am excited to come home and throw pots at my own home. I don’t have to go anywhere else.

What do you think the role of art departments have in our world today?

I think the biggest thing with art is that it speaks all languages. I have a ton of refuge kids in my class. Art speaks to so many different cognitive abilities. It is fascinating when I see kids that maybe struggle with math or science and the one thing that lights them up about coming to school is art.

If you were restricted to using two colors for your glazes, which colors would you use?

If I had a gas kiln I would have to go Shino. Just because you are going to get different results even though you are limited. But there is always the frustration of Shino when it doesn’t work out so I would want something a little more stable. So I hate to say this but a really nice blue. (laughter) Like a nice cobalt blue. A solid staple that everyone is going to like.

If you were going to be able to include a magic power with your pottery, what magic power would you include with it?

It would probably be the magic power to be able to pull walls with porcelain clay to make it so it’s even. To make my walls really consistent and be able to pull massive vases super easily. I am always super jealous of potters that can make these enormous tall vases or big giant pots.


500 Bowls by  Suzanne J.E. Tourtillott



Instagram: @samspottery

Posted in Show Notes and tagged .
  • David Parry

    Rad interview