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Studio Tour

Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios

by Annie Werbler

In the Pittsburgh workroom of redraven studios, inky splashes of navy, rose, and 14 karat gold stain handmade dinnerware crafted beside candy-colored nuggets of glistening porcelain jewelry. Since 2008, Amy Hamley has designed these sentimental keepsakes that capture fleeting moments in her own life and she turns them into contemporary objects for others to enjoy. Her Canyon Series tabletop line takes inspiration from family travels by reflecting the color palettes of national parks at sunset. Hamley’s adventures are shared with her husband Ryan, whose rural Pennsylvania background influences some of his wife’s additional work by establishing a direct connection to living memories. Around his family farm, the couple finds items such as retired horseshoes, antique bottle forms, and an extensive collection of arrowheads to cast in porcelain. By taking inspiration from the past, Hamley creates mementos steeped in context for future generations.

Redraven studios operates out of a 1,500-square-foot space shared with Stak Ceramics, nestled along the bank of the Allegheny River in the Sharpsburg section of the city. When they moved in about a year and a half ago, the trio of artisans built the wall shelving, work stations, and updated the electrical panel to accommodate three kilns. The heat generated by several ovens firing at 2,200 degrees lends the room tropical temperatures year-round, though domestic roadtrips are always preferable. —Annie

Photography by Janelle Bendycki, except where noted

Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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The Glacier colorway of the Canyon Series dipping plate set, which is part of the National Parks series, are some of Hamley's favorite pieces.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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The Bryce espresso mug, also part of the Canyon Series.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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A lone Canyon Series dinner plate with patches of 14 karat gold.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Hamley's work area overflows with natural light.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Hamley's handmade molds and tools.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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A process shot shows the trimmed shavings from refining slip cast pieces.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Interior kiln shot showing a final luster firing of porcelain jewelry pieces.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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This clay stamp marks every Redraven Studios piece with its logo while the porcelain is still wet.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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These vessels are cast from antique bottle forms found on Hamley's husband's family farm.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Work in various stages of completion rest on studio shelves.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Full molds waiting to set on Hamley's work table.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Hamley fills molds with porcelain slip.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Hamley releasing porcelain horseshoes from their mold.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Glazing technique on a custom item made exclusively for the American Museum of Natural History.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Mold-making and slip-casting techniques for the AMNH project.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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A tiny office nook is the only cozy spot in an otherwise clay-dusty studio.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Detail of the office nook.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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A dedicated shipping prep area in the studio.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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Designer and maker Amy Hamley in her studio.
Studio Tour: Amy Hamley of Redraven Studios, on Design*Sponge
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"What I love about my studio most is...the natural light." Photo by Amy Hamley.

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