Samantha Purze

Artist Statement

My work showcases the merging of my interests in historic post-modernism, ceramic vessels, abstracted cartography, craft, technology, oxymorons and intuitive drawing. I am interested in the idea that pots are capable of connecting people to one another through moments of everyday routine and group gatherings as vessels for food, drink, and decoration. By producing thoughtful, familiar, and playful forms I honor and participate in the rich, ongoing, and ever-changing history that surrounds ceramic vessel making.

My approach is similar to that of an engineer, anxiously sketching blueprints of the final product while simultaneously working to make the puzzle pieces fit together. Each constructed vessel begins to resemble a collage of parts that are equally precise and candid in their joining. The vessels are made with function in mind, but their highlighted attributes demand a focus on form, texture, and color. Carefully planning the collision of these things results in a rhythmic composition containing moments of visual tension and implied motion.

The oxymoron of carrying out informed yet spontaneous decisions while making is depicted within my work as it is both calculated and inexact. I imagine the surface drawings as abstracted maps that have been stripped of specific place or geographical meaning. Their purpose now is to ignite the discovery of tracking a line from one shape to the next, encouraging exploration of the form and discovery of uncharted territories within the vessel. They begin to loosely reference circuitry, calligraphy, mind maps, sheet music, and other forms of moving from one place to another among both tangible and intangible connecting points. I embrace the imperfection of human touch through tactile pinch marks, awkward color combinations, stretched geometry, long wavering lines, and repeated asymmetrical shapes. Overall the work generates a curious experience of visual travel while celebrating useful pots.


Samantha Purze was born and raised in northwest Indiana along the southern tip of Lake Michigan. She received a BFA in Ceramics from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale in 2019, and completed a two year Ceramics Post Baccalaureate program at Indiana University-Southeast in 2021. Sam began her professional career in 2016 when she kickstarted a community ceramics studio for The Dunes Art Foundation of Michiana Shores, Indiana called “The Clay Cabin” and served as their studio manager, technician, and instructor for 4 years. Sam has been teaching ceramics classes for the Art Barn School of Art in Porter, Indiana since 2019 and as of this year she has exhibited work in twelve US states. She is passionate about providing communities with opportunity through non-profit art organizations and many of her work experiences depict her involvement in such. Sam’s professional objective is to educate, popularize, and demonstrate the ceramic arts while developing her own work through continued studio practice.