Hanna Eastin uses clay to tell stories; the tender and fierce, beautiful and disastrous stories that shape who she is and who we are as humans. By creating “books” in the form of wall pieces and sculptures, she strives to build connections between people by using images, shapes and textures, and sometimes words, to name the events and ideas that live at the core of human experience.
Hanna was born in 1978, in the mountains of Northeast Tennessee. She grew up on a goat farm working with her dad, making pots with her mom in her studio, and building hideouts and trails in the woods with her sister. As a very shy young person, she spent copious amounts of time observing people and their behaviors, and now uses the inspirations of the dirt and rocks of Tennessee, her animal companions, and these observations to give voice to what makes us all tick.
She now lives in south central Kansas and has grown to love the subtlety of the landscape, and how that subtlety can shape everyone’s attitude and experience. The outdoors, animals, and interactions with people continue to heavily influence her work.
Over the course of the last 15 years of my career, my work has ranged from very abstract to text and image based narratives, but always, at the center, it is rooted in finding connections between people and experiences. I am working to find what binds us all inextricably together, no matter how far apart or how differently we live.
My work is made primarily of stoneware clay and finished with high temperature glazes, though earthenware clay and stains have made many appearances as well. Using various hand building techniques to make wall tiles and book inspired forms, I bring narrative ideas and observations to life by carving, typing with a letter set, and layering glazes and stains.
This work, while frequently very emotionally vulnerable, has struck a chord with my audience, and now resides in corporate collections and private homes, both from my own series of studio work and specifically designed commissions. Because stoneware can also live outside in protected areas, many pieces also have homes in gardens and other outdoor spaces to commemorate the location’s importance to the collector. These are some of my favorite projects, joining forces with others to create a collaborative marker for our stories.
Whether collaborating with a client or working on my own personal series, I am perplexed and fascinated by the dichotomies of life. Everyone has beauty and tragedy in their lives. Sometimes the beauties are riddled with tragedy, and sometimes the tragedies are tempered by great beauty. Can we name those beauties and tragedies? Can we connect to each other strongly by not only naming, but sharing, those deeply held moments that make us who we are? Who will go first? Using clay, I hope to build a bridge to you and open a window into the tiny important truths that we all hold, and borrowing some lyrics from one of my favorite bands, Alt-J, to place significant value upon the idea that “like all good fruit the balance of life is in the ripe and ruin.”
These are the best stories- the ones that dig below the expected plot into something that teaches us more about ourselves than we knew before.
Contact Information: eastinhanna7 @ gmail . com (Please email me for a phone number if you would like to talk in person.)
ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHT 2014 Hanna Eastin
Principia College, Elsah, IL, BA 2000 (honors), Studio Art Major, Ceramics Track
Fort Hays State University, Hays, KS, Special Graduate Student, Ceramics, Fall 2004
Recipient: Second Place, Hays Arts Council ($200) (2004)
Kathryn Cogswell Maule Studio Art Award ($300) (June 2000)
Student Art Project Award ($300 purchase) (June 2000)
Merit Scholarship ($3000) (1999-2000 academic year)
Adelaide Carroll Johnson Award ($300) (June 1999)
Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Workshop with Paul Soldner and Peter Voulkos,
Snowmass Village, CO (August 2001)
High School, Homeschool- Focus on Art and Agriculture, Shady Valley, TN (1992-96)
Studio Artist, Shady Valley, TN and Newton, KS- August 2000- present
Adjunct Faculty in Ceramics, Hesston College, Hesston, KS- August 2011- present
Artist-In Residence, Hesston College, Hesston, KS- August 2008- August 2011
Art Manager, Pages Books & Coffee (co-owner), Newton, KS- January 2011- May 2012
Gallery Owner, Cobalt Gallery, Newton, KS- January 2008- December 2010
Studio Assistant, Head Assistant, Snider Studios, Newton, KS- November 2001- January 2008
Production Assistant, Soldner Clay Mixers, Newton, KS- January 2002- January 2008
Kiln Repair Assistant, Anderson Ranch Art Center, Snowmass Village, CO- August 2002
Studio Assistant and Partner, On The Mountain Pottery, Shady Valley, TN- August 2000-November 2001
Studio Assistant, Principia College Art Department, Elsah, IL-April 1998-June 2000
Studio Art Study Abroad Programwith Principia College in Canada, France, and Louisiana- Fall 1999
Painting and Design Teacher, Art Camp, Johnson County Arts Council, Mountain City, TN- Summer 1999
Studio Assistant, On The Mountain Pottery, Shady Valley, TN- Summer 1998
Studio Appointment, Newton, KS, November 2001 – present
The Gallery at Artworks, Wichita, KS, Summer 2007- present
Artworks, Bozeman, MT, July 2008- present