SANAM EMAMI (Iranian - American)
Tulip Vase with Imagined Flowers, 2016
Meissen Brown Stoneware
17” H x 9” W x 9” D
Sanam Emami creates pots and tiles with a specific intent – a function. She believes that the parameters of the functional vessel simultaneously create boundaries and endless possibilities. Plates, cups, and tiles are ubiquitous, recognizable. Her vases and their multiple spouts are curious when empty, revealing their function only when filled with flowers. The cup provides a counterpoint – the curves and movement of the form interact with the surface pattern and imagery.
Emami derives inspiration from an everyday variety of sources: a book, a conversation, or a glimpse of something familiar, like a favorite historical pot that can seem new, as if seen for the first time. Once in her studio, these esoteric concepts and inspiration take shape and become tangible and dimensional. She values concepts of unity with variety, as in combining soft marks and volumes with crisp edges and lines. She is interested in creating contrasting gestures that can coexist within an object through mark making, symmetry, and repeated patterns.
Emami is an Associate Professor of Pottery at Colorado State University, Fort Collins. She received a BA in History from James Madison University in Virginia and an MFA in Ceramics from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. She was a Visiting Assistant Professor in Ceramics at Alfred University and a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Montana. She has lectured at the Office for the Arts at Harvard University; the Kansas City Art Institute; Arizona State University Art Museum Ceramic Research Center; and NCECA in Louisville, Kentucky. She received a New York Foundation for the Arts Grant for Craft, and her work has been in exhibitions at numerous galleries and museums throughout the United States.