Amy Sarner Williams

Amy Sarner Williams


Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.



Artist's Statement

I am a professional artist, living and working in Philadelphia PA. I spent almost my entire career in the field of ceramic art–teaching, creating and exhibiting. In 1994 I joined the development staff at The Clay Studio in Old City Philadelphia. I knew the organization well, having been one of its early resident artists and instructors and later a member of the Board of Directors and Board Chair. In 2001 I became its Executive Director and, during my ten years of leadership, doubled its organizational capacity and increased its financial strength. I left the staff in 2011 to refocus on my family and my personal artistic expression. Still, it is one of the great joys of my life to see The Clay Studio poised to open its brand new, state of the art facility in 2022.

I have always been drawn to the use of natural materials in my artistic practice. While quarantining at my family's cabin in the mountains of western Maine in 2020, without access to clay and kilns, I began a new phase of artistic exploration.

My new works are collages created with birch bark found on our property and on walks in the idyllic Maine woods. The quality of birch bark has always intrigued me, with its myriad peelable layers unveiling a hidden array of colors, textures and patterns. I collect the bark (from the ground, not from live trees) and prepare it through a lengthy process of soaking, peeling into layers, flattening, and cutting. This new body of work builds on my earlier clay work, inspired by the splendor of the natural world. The bark of the birch tree enables me to create collages of mystical and enchanting beauty, capturing the spirit of the ever-changing landscape.

Recently, I have expanded the scope of this work into more abstract compositions. These new works play with depth and space, color and texture. They are environments to explore, passageways to enter, mazes to lose oneself in.

Selected Exhibitions

Lighthearted, Visions Craft Gallery, Bala Cynwyd, PA

Light From Within, The Clay Lady, Eagle, PA

Land of Dreams, Delaware Center for Contemporary Art, Wilmington, DE

Fields of You, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Peter Craigie/Amy Sarner Williams, Kirkbride Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Amy Sarner Williams/Dale Shuffler, Bedford Gallery, Farmville, VA

Sarner/Ceramics; Baker and Baker/Jewelry, The Retreat, Westlake Village, CA

Works in Wood, New Hope Arts Center, New Hope, PA

9th Annual Juried Exhibition, Cerulean Arts Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Of the Earth, ArtFluent online Gallery, Boston, MA

Landscapes to Explore, Kansas City Stockyards Gallery, Kansas City, MO

Beautiful Possibilities, Woodwalk Gallery, Egg Harbor, WI

The Magic of Water, Cape Cod Center of the Arts, Barnstable, MA

Small Favors, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia PA

Unstoppable, Cheltenham Center for the Arts, Cheltenham, PA
Honorable Mention Award

Creative Collective, The Clay Studio at Claytopia, NCECA, Minneapolis, MN

35th Anniversary Exhibition, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

The Alchemy of Raku, Vermont Clay Studio, Waterbury Center, VT

Artful Crafts that Work, Hopkins House Gallery, Haddon Heights, NJ

More Than a Fixture, Houberbocken Gallery, Milwaukee, WI

National Ceramics Invitational, McKinney Gallery, West Chester, PA

In Our Circle, Michener Museum, Doylestown, PA

Revolving Techniques, Michener Museum, Doylestown, PA

American Clay Artists, Port of History Museum, Philadelphia, PA

National Clay Lines, Northwest Crafts Center, Seattle, WA

Fired With Enthusiasm, Campbell Museum, Camden, NJ

Women Working In Clay, Muse Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Professional Experience

Professional Artist, 1975 - Present
2019 - 2021
Black Hound Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Studio Artist

International Artists Residency Exchange, Saint Raphael, France
Guest Artist

2014 - 2019
CedarWorks Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Studio Artist

1983 - 1991
American Craft Council Craft Shows, Baltimore and West Springfield
Exhibiting Artist

1986, 1988
Smithsonian Craft Show
Exhibiting Artist

1983, 1986
Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show
Exhibiting Artist

1975 - 1983
The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA
Resident Artist

Non-Profit Management
2009 - 2011
President & CEO, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

2001 - 2009
Executive Director, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

1994 - 2001
Development Director, The Clay Studio, Philadelphia, PA

Selected Panels, Juries and Lectures

International Organizing Committee, 2011 Ceramics Biennale, South Korea

2008 - 2011
Independence Foundation Fellowships in the Arts peer review panel, Visual Arts

NCECA Concurrent Independent Exhibitions, 3-member jury panel for exhibitions during 2010 conference in Philadelphia

International Academy of Ceramics panelist, “Trends and Traditions” IAC conference, Xian, China

University of the Arts, visiting lecturer, Summer MFA program, ceramics

2005 - 2007
Philadelphia Cultural Fund peer review panel, Visual Arts and Media

Fleisher Challenge Exhibitions, juror, Crafts; Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia PA 2006

Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, juror

Five County Arts Fund peer review panel, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance


Penland School of Crafts, NC
Ceramics Intensive with Robert Turner

Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
Studio Art

University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
Bachelor of Arts