Chandra Debuse ( she,her )

Artist Statement

My functional pottery incorporates narrative imagery, pattern and form to amuse and delight the user, imparting a sense of play. In practice and product, my work reflects an approach to make-believe through discovery. I incorporate bouncing lines, candy colors, low relief and hand-drawn elements into my ceramic service ware, encouraging exploration through use. The determined characters that star in my work dwell within landscapes of leisure. These illustrations employ exaggeration, humor, and metaphor to facilitate the viewer’s ability to capture the narrative and apply it to his or her own life.

Patterns found within nature, such as tree bark, water waves, or flower petals are abstracted and simplified, ricocheting across forms. My salt and pepper landscapes, treat servers, jars, plates, cups, and bowls become playscapes where pattern and character frolic, inviting human fingers to also roam the topography, seeking out their own morsels of delight.

Only through using the piece: holding and exploring it, can the whole image or pattern be seen. When someone laughs at a character I’ve drawn, spills their drink because they were investigating the bottom of a cup, or finds joy in discovering a plump spoon nestled inside a pocket, I know the pots are successful. Feelings of joy, delight, and amusement tickle the imagination and spark light=hearted behavior, resulting in an enriched life.


Chandra DeBuse is a full time studio potter in Kansas City, KS. Her illustrated porcelain pots feature stylized imagery from the natural world such as flowers, bugs, squirrels, opossums and skunks.

Chandra was bitten by the clay bug in 1998. She studied ceramics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln before receiving her MFA from the University of Florida in 2010.