Samantha McInnis | Episode 374
Samantha McInnis is a native Floridian potter who spends her days creating ocean inspired ceramic art. Her primary source of inspiration is Florida’s eastern coastline. Her art is characterized by coastal colors, flowing shapes and fine craftsmanship. After passing her portfolio review, Samantha was approved for her Bachelor of Fine Art concentrating in Ceramics from Florida Atlantic University. She graduated in 2011 upon completion of the student installation exhibition, Gamut. Samantha has since been evolving her craft as well as her company The Clay Cache. For the last three years, she has been participating in art shows throughout the east coast. She has shown her work in places such as the West Palm Beach Bridal Expo, Coral Gables Mad Hatter Festival and the Deerfield Beach Festival of the Arts. Some weekends she is set up at a monthly art walk in Fort Lauderdale and others she can be found at larger events such as the Dania Beach Arts & Seafood Festival. When she is not busy with shows she can be found in her Pompano beach studio inside Bailey Contemporary Art Center working on new ideas. Besides pop up shops, Samantha sells her work online through Etsy and Amazon Handmade. The Clay Cache can also be found in a few exclusive Florida boutique stores. Samantha’s work is meant to serve as beautiful reminders to respect the natural world around us.
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What do you appreciate about having a theme in your making?
I used to feel unsure. Like I would feel creative over one part of a project that I would start and then I would kind of lose it. I would lose momentum and lose that excitement and now that I have this genre that I have created for myself I never wake up and go to the study and say, I have no idea what to make today. I am always inspired.
How does one go about developing a specific theme to plant your flag on?
I think definitely trying as many things as you can until you do find that thing that tickles you , that thing that make you…like when you open the kiln and you are like..Yes!It looks awesome. Then you do that over and over again and make it better and better.
How long did it take for you to settle in on your theme?
I would say probably two or three years. Like I said, I will pick up old ceramics from an old cabinet or my mom’s bathroom or something and think, I can’t believe I made that. My work is so much better now. I love to see that development. It is like night and day.
When you have a theme it is like having boundaries. Do you find that restricting or do you find that freeing?
I find it freeing as it forces you to stay focused and develop your craft or your design or the composition of something and it makes it easier for you to stay on task, if you will.
When you have the boundaries how do you then find the inspiration to push the limits instead of just doing the same old thing?
I go snorkeling. I am telling you I go snorkeling and I find an octopus down in a hole and he’s got this little graveyard of shells out in front of his hole and he comes out and he changes colors. This is so awesome and it is different every time.
How do you go about pricing your work?
That’s been hard. I think what I have come up with and I still don’t know, I would say the best thing that I did for pricing because I started wholesaling a little bit, and saying, OK what would I wholesale an item for that would be reasonable and could make a little bit of profit on. And then is that number reasonable enough for me to double it as my retail?
My last question is completely random. What makes the perfect friend?
I think what makes a perfect friend in a nutshell is a supportive friend. Someone who has got your back.