Growing up, many of us might remember being enrolled in clubs, athletic teams, or classes that didn’t captivate our interest. However, when Cape Cod local, Amy Eldridge, was enrolled in a pottery class around the age of five by her mother, she had a sense that it might be something she’d really enjoy.
During her childhood, Amy lived in Connecticut for the school year and spent summers on Cape Cod. Her father was a teacher, and she lived on a prep-school campus with her family until she was nine years old. There, she began taking community art classes, where she enjoyed honing her artistic skills through illustration and printmaking. She continued to pursue art up until college, where she shifted focus to her studies and, later, to starting a family.
Amy began working for a marine electronics company, C-Map, on the Cape. She became immersed in fishing and boating, attending shows and exhibitions as part of her job. However, Amy’s career wasn’t her initial introduction to this lifestyle; fishing had been in her family for a long time before her childhood summers on the Cape.
As a teacher, Amy’s father was interested in the Eldridge heritage, and traced their roots to settlers of Chatham, Massachusetts, hundreds of years ago. Her ancestors were fishermen, as were many families living in coastal colonies around the mid- to late 1600s. In an effort to get in touch with her ancestral roots, Amy also began fishing. She was interested in the patterns and colors of fish, appreciating them in an entirely different fashion than her fishing-fanatic brother, who preferred to fill the cooler.
Now a full-time resident of Cape Cod, Amy lives in Falmouth and has returned to her roots in pottery. She enjoys hands-on, immersive forms of art and much of her current work consists of pottery combined with drawing or printmaking. She describes her current pieces as “functional art,” and her body of work is full of mugs, platters, and other forms of pottery that bring practical use and nautical themes together.
Today, Amy continues her work here on the Cape at the Meetinghouse Clay Center, where she has a studio. She showcases her work primarily through Instagram rather than spending her time creating inventory for an online store. Within the community, Amy participates in local art shows and events that bring her publicity. She is constantly creating something new, whether it’s a series of striped bass mugs for an upcoming art show or a veggie-themed platter she plans to use for finger foods during family gatherings.
The pottery process is not a brief or simple one, and Amy’s illustrations on top of the completed objects function as a second layer of art, giving her work an even greater depth and aesthetic appreciation. She does not currently accept commissions because she believes creativity can’t be forced—it must occur naturally, the way the stripers know when to swim south.
Follow Amy on Instagram: @eldridgeceramics