Welcome to White Lotus Pottery. I'm Amanda Bartel, the artist behind each piece of stoneware made by hand in Arlington, Virginia. 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, Texas, and now Arlington, VA), 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.
MY STORY & PHILOSOPHY
Sitting at the potter’s wheel to create a work of art from a ball of earth has a way of quieting the mind and centering the soul.
One of the things I love most about pottery is how easily it can be shared with others. Both the finished products and the making process itself lend themselves to inviting others in. As we carefully emerge from a period of isolation, White Lotus Pottery is excited to invite you in for an experience that might be just what you've been seeking. Our quaint studio is the perfect creative space to learn a new skill and make something you are proud of in the company of someone you hold dear.
We have 2 wheels for partners to come experiment and learn in private sessions with skilled instructor and owner, Amanda Bartel. We also have a large work space for wedging clay and learning handbuilding techniques. Our glaze collection is always growing as we experiment with new exciting cone 5/6 glazes that we make ourselves from raw chemicals here in the studio.
We value having a clean, safe space for our visitors so we work as a team to keep the space dust-free. At this time, we ask that all visitors wear masks regardless of vaccination status.