December 5, 2023


Adorn your Feelings

Chasing Down An Idea | Mandy Henebry | Episode 834

3 min read


Mandy Henebry | Episode 834

Mandy Henebry has been working with clay for almost 3 decades. Mandy’s work is a reflection of her love for home décor, and entertaining with food. Soft colors and tactile patterns grace the surfaces of her pottery. Mandy currently lives in Boise, Idaho working as a full-time studio potter.


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Where did the idea of stencils come from for you?

I love surface design.  I love patterns and I wanted to somehow incorporate that into my work. I was bored with the glazing process and wanted to elevate the look of my pots not from the glazing process but from the surface design perspective.

So you started with patterns, was it important for you to make them repeatable?

Not necessarily. I think the most important thing for me was the pattern had to speak to me in some way. Some patterns I love looking at them and it’s almost a visceral reaction where I see and pattern and it’s either a yes or a no in my head.

Where did you start thinking how Cricut might be the solution for making these patterns?

I knew I had formulated a way of adding my designs with the stencil and I didn’t want to be just going to the store and buying a stencil that a million other people had and were using for various different things. I wanted it to be unique and really the only way to do that was to start designing them. I used Photoshop, I used Illustrator, and the Cricut seemed to be the only answer I had and that’s where I began.

Where were you looking for answers? Did you google pattern maker? 

I was familiar with the Cricut but at ACC they had a maker’s space and they had this enormous laser machine that we could use, you know, who could have one of those in their home? I mean just to have the space is one thing but to be able to afford it is a whole nother thing. So I researched the Cricut. I researched the different materials it could cut and figured that it was the best option for me.

Through trial and error you made up your own process. How many trials would you say you went through before you started to say, Ahh, this is it! ?

Trials with the ceramics part, or trials with the Cricut?

Yes. The stencil part. 

The Cricut part…hundreds. Hundreds, if not thousands. And it’s an everyday learning process for me.

Are you still learning?

Of course!

Which is your favorite form to make?

My favorite form that I make is the one I am currently making.

Do you feel that’s a bit of a cop out?

Okay, if I could throw one form over and over and over it would probably be a bowl. Everybody needs a bowl.


Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Borudain


Instagram: @mandyhenebryceramics


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