I was born and raised in San Diego, California but now live about twenty miles east of my childhood home in a city called El Cajon. I live with my husband, dad and fur children in a quiet neighborhood called Fletcher Hills. I grew up doing all the stereotypical southern California activities.

Amber Hamblin in her studio
Amber Hamblin in her studio

My down time was often spent catching a tan on the beach, surfing the waves with my dad and best girlfriends, or locking myself in my room with my sketchbook and blaring music – being that typical angsty teenager. After graduating high school, I went straight to trade school and became a licensed cosmetologist, working alongside my Mom at her busy little beauty salon. After several years of working, I started feeling like there was more to life and got a little scared that I may not be living up to my full potential. Plus, I was just getting plain bored, so I decided to go back to school. It was a challenge to juggle school and full-time work, but I found my way through it all with the support of my family and friends. I graduated from San Diego Mesa college with an AS in Mathematics where then I transferred to San Diego State University where I earned a BS in Applied Design with an emphasis in ceramics.

In addition to my small studio space at home, I am thankful to also have access to a beautiful ceramics studio at Lux Art Institute in Encinitas, CA where I work as the ceramics technician (https://www.luxartinstitute.org/).

I don’t necessarily consider myself a ceramic artist but rather an artist that happens to use ceramics as her “go to” medium. I enjoy the idea and the craftmanship that goes into creating a form that will also become my canvas which I can decorate with various design elements and/or illustrations. I mostly use stoneware to make both functional and non-functional objects. My functional work of cups, bowls, plates, and jewelry allow me a surface where I can explore my love of color theory and pattern clashing. I enjoy breaking up and activating the surface by adding texture through additive and subtractive techniques. My aesthetic choices in color, texture, and pattern are also driven by my love for the nostalgic themes from my youth along with the desire to create art that speaks to the modern viewer.

Humor, in the form of satire, plays a big role in my life and the work I produce. Humor is a theme that ties us together as social creatures and gives us a way to relate to one another through similar thoughts and experiences. I’m interested in investigating these similarities through the exploration of the visual representation of common phrases and expressions. By portraying the literal forms of idioms and themes of satire through ceramic sculpture and surface decoration of functional wares, I am able to express my own personal need to be child-like, playful, and a tad mischievous. The overall theme of my work lies somewhere between highbrow and lowbrow humor. My main challenge and what I am most interested in is creating work that evokes humor and sentiment through the use of kitsch as a common, accessible language.

I want the viewer to recognize the overall playfulness that can be seen within the cartoon like forms, color, pattern, and satirical iconography that, I hope, sparks a moment of joy, a smirk, or even a chuckle. And in this day and age we can all use a little humor and pretty objects to distract us and get us through this thing called life.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hambone.amz/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/amber.m.hamblin/
WordPress: https://amberhamblin.wordpress.com/

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Closed 7/28 through 8/3:

We will be closed to the public Friday, July 28 through Thursday, August 4 as we install our next exhibition, Inspired By Nature. Please join us for the opening reception on Friday, August 4 from 5 to 8pm!