Anna WiehePortland, Oregon

Red Lodge Clay Center – Short-Term Resident (AIA) 2022

Anna Wiehe is an educator, artist, and herbalist living in Portland, OR. Born and raised in the suburbs of Cincinnati, Ohio she received her BFA from Ohio University in 2006 and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Kansas State University in 2012. Through her career as an art educator she has taught at all levels from pre-school to college. She creates her herbal medicines and ceramic wares from her home studio which she shares with her husband, Dylan. She currently teaches high school ceramics, 3D design, and jewelry with an emphasis on creative problem solving and craft processes.

My work has been centered around giving. Through craft processes that require great time, care, and intention I have strived to imbue my creations with a love that can only come from the handmade. Functional pottery was a natural outgrowth of the desire to create objects that can be used and enjoyed by others. Each object I create is carefully designed with an intended user. As I proceed through the ceramic processes I consider the receiver and set intentions to reside in that object. Creating herbal medicines tapped into similar sensibilities. The process of growing or gathering, creating relationships with plants and seeking their healing properties in the service of others is a lengthy process with many steps and opportunity for intentions to fill the final creation. My knowledge of the ancient practices of ceramics and herbalism are not my own. Discovered, refined, and passed on by people who are my ancestors and some who are not, I consider my skills only to be a gift that I possess and must share. I devote a majority of my time and creative energy to teaching and when I create material goods I prefer to work outside of capitalist and monetary systems. The capitalist society of the United States is fraught with vestiges of patriarchy and colonialism that continue to haunt our society with injustice and environmental devastation. My work strives to situate itself outside of these systems by sidestepping consumerism, the mass produced object, and systems adjacent to capitalism such as our healthcare system and big pharma. The handmade gift of my creative efforts becomes a way to subvert these systems by providing the recipient with a sense of abundance and generosity.