Local Artist Feature: Samantha McInnis of The Clay Cache

About the Artist

Samantha McInnis is a native Floridian potter who spends her days creating ocean inspired functional and sculptural ceramic art. Her artistic inspiration began at a young age during the usual weekend boating trips on the west coast of Florida. Her primary source of inspiration is now the Atlantic Ocean and Florida’s eastern coastline. She was raised to always appreciate and respect the joys the natural world has given us, so it is only natural that her art is characterized by coastal colors, flowing shapes and fine craftsmanship.

Samantha began her artistic career after graduating from Florida Atlantic University in 2011 with her BFA in Ceramics. She loves working with clay because it provides a simple yet very real connection to the earth.

Things like warm walks on the beach and crisp salty air are just some of the many rituals of life necessary for happiness. Her work transcends this positive energy through her surface decoration and theme. The delicacy of the medium is synonymous to the fragility of our world’s oceans and the care it takes to preserve them.

Samantha’s work is meant to always serve as beautiful functional reminders to love and protect the very things that so selflessly give us our happiness.

Samantha has since been evolving her craft as well as her company The Clay Cache. For the last two years, she has been relentlessly participating in as many art shows and craft fair pop ups as possible. She has shown her work in places such as the West Palm Beach Bridal Expo and the Coral Gables Mad Hatter Festival. Some weekends she has her booth set up at a monthly art walk in Fort Lauderdale and other weekends she can be found at larger events such as the Dania Beach Seafood Festival.

Besides pop up shops, Samantha sells her work online through Etsy and Amazon Handmade. The Clay Cache can also be found in a few boutiques around the area too. Samantha is working to develop a strong brand for The Clay Cache through shows and social media. The Clay Cache is a name that will be sought after not only for its beauty, but also for the precision and craftsmanship behind her handmade work.

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Artist’s Statement

My work is unique because it begins with the earth itself. It is made up of vital components of the earth’s crust. The creations from start to finish are immediate examples of the earth’s natural process of erosion and formation. However, instead of forming things like mountains, volcanoes or canyons I can control the process and finish my pieces of earth into unique ethereal works of art that are directly inspired by the world’s oceans and coastlines.

Living on the coast has always kept me close to the aquatic world I love and being able to materialize my thoughts and ideas through ceramics brings me great joy. I feel a strong connection to Mother Nature and a desire to help keep our planet safe and clean.

My hopes in sharing my work are that by taking home a piece of mine, you will always keep with you a reminder to love and nurture our delicate ecosystem.

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Interview

Have you always known you wanted to work with ceramics and sculpture?

No. I have always been artistically inclined and loved to do any extracurricular activity that involved art. It wasn’t until I was in college and took a beginning wheel course that I fell in love with the medium. My professor was so humble and happy with life; I knew that I wanted to be like that when I was older.

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You mention in your bio that you were raised to appreciate the joys of the natural world; do you have a specific memory from a young age that stands out in teaching you this valuable lesson?

Not any particular moment or event. I always loved animals and nature. I went to nature camp every summer growing up and was taught at an early age to be environmentally aware. Reduce, reuse, recycle. My parents would take the family out to one of the many islands off the Pinellas coast almost on a weekend basis. Time on the island to us kids meant freedom. We could run, scream, play, and do whatever we wanted. There was never parents or authority to tell you what you could or couldn’t do. I think I always appreciated the island for that.

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What inspires you? Can you share a little bit about your artistic process?

My inspiration/process comes directly from my everyday life. I am most motivated to create when I have the opportunity to explore or try something new. I try to be involved with people in the ceramic community for new learning opportunities and the aquatic community for new adventures. I recently got the chance to explore Exuma, a small island in the Bahamas, and was blown away by the sapphire blue waters. I am dying to find new glazes and surface decoration to add to my body of work!

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What artists, if any, have shaped your work/who are your idols?

My wheel professor in college. I only got to spend one semester with him, but his happiness with a simple life was very important to me. My parents, for the same reason really. They always taught me experiences are more important [than] material things.

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Are you planning to open your own brick and mortar shop someday?

I would ultimately like to have my own retail studio boutique. I envision a team of people close to me helping produce beautiful new work for peoples’ homes. Having a team of people working with me would allow me the time to create more new work and develop my designs further.

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For More Info on Samantha McInnis & The Clay Cache:

Check out her upcoming events.

Visit Coast Boutique in Lauderdale by the Sea

Interview by Jessica M. Stern