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#howiAMACO InstaFeature - Ruth Hays


Pennsylvanian ceramicist Ruth Hays (affectionately called Ruthie on her Instagram) has a simple Instagram bio that says it all: Mother, Wife, Potter. We were drawn to her work due to its lovely use of type and the inspiring messages of love and empowerment that decorate her wares.

How did you come to be interested in working with clay?

I came to be interested in working in clay in high school. That’s where it all began. Learning to make something on the wheel and learning the whole process, to having the worst patience, waiting to see how it turned out in the kiln, became so addicting. I also took ceramic classes in college and that just opened more possibilities that I never knew existed. I just never stopped from there.

What inspires your work?

There are a couple things that inspire my work. Simplicity, being one. My work doesn’t have a lot of texture, color upon color, and my form is simple. To me, less is more and I just love the look of “simple”. My children are another inspiration. Hearing what they want to be when they grow up and the things they want to do, I want them to follow their dreams. I want to be a positive influence in their lives. I want them to know they are loved, to just be themselves, for them to follow their dreams. And that’s where my “You Are LOVED”, “Just be your beautiful self”, and “Follow your dreams” inspiration came from. I want my pottery to be positive, uplifting, and inspirational so that people and other artists can relate to it.

What’s your favorite thing about clay?

My favorite thing about clay is that it is so versatile. I’m able to make something with my hands. Mold it into any shape or form. I love painting and drawing and I can do that on clay. Not only that, but you're able to carve, stencil, stamp, screen print, decal with it too. With clay the possibilities are endless.

Which AMACO products do you always find yourself going back to? How do these products speak to your work?

Amaco products that I always find myself going back to would have to be the black velvet under glaze, HF-9 clear zinc free glaze, and the A-mix white Stoneware No.11. When I make anything that has “You are LOVED”, “just be your beautiful self”, and “follow your dreams”, I want it to stand out. I love how white the clay comes out when fired. The clear glaze makes the black velvet underglaze POP. I love the look these 3 products produce. These products make my work stand out the way I hoped they would. They all just go so well together.

You find a genie lamp and are granted three wishes: what are they? (Play by the rules: no bringing people back from the dead, no making people fall in love, no killing people, and no asking for more wishes)

  1. No more hate or terrorism in this world
  2. To live on a farm with rescued animals
  3. Free airfare, to travel anywhere, anytime.

Sweet or Savory?


What's your favorite novel?

The notebook, anything Nicholas Sparks