Welcome to White Lotus Pottery. I'm Amanda Bartel, the artist behind each piece of stoneware made by hand in Bryan, TX. I began my pottery career in Ithaca, New York when I asked a local artist for lessons and immediately fell in love with working at the wheel. A few months later, my housemates and I built our own basement studio where we dove headfirst into the craft. When I met my husband, we moved out of town and started bouncing around the world (Germany, Russia, New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Connecticut, and now Texas), and I was committed to finding a wheel wherever we went.
I started stamping my pieces with a lotus flower while working at a ceramic studio in Berlin, Germany. I am inspired by the flower’s beauty and symbolic meaning - from out of the muck, the lotus grows, just as a ball of clay is transformed into a beautiful piece of functional art with the help of an artist’s gentle hands and a little love. It means so much knowing my work is out in the world and my hope is that the good energy that goes into making my pieces will fuel the homes and the hands of those who use them.
Before becoming a full-time potter, I spent over a decade as an occupational therapist - a profession founded on the idea that meaningful activity is the best way to support health and wellbeing. It has been so fulfilling to apply my background as a therapist to the incredibly therapeutic experience of working with clay. Sitting at the potter’s wheel is a daily invitation to center myself as I center the clay. It requires complete harmony of mind, body, and spirit. Through my functional artwork, I hope to share that harmony with others by teaching the craft and producing pieces that can be integrated into everyday life.