Paul Andrew Wandless
Tools of the Trade (No. 1, Suite 2), 2013
Earthenware casting slip, earthenware clay, underglaze, glaze, metallic glaze
I’m a storyteller. My art is the vehicle through which my voice can be seen.
As an artist, craftsman and writer, I want to engage and inform the viewer both
visually and intellectually through the mediums and processes I employ. My
personal philosophies and concerns manifest themselves as musings, stories or
philosophical statements. These conceptualized ideas then take physical form
as visual narratives through my work. This often manifests as figurative art or
pictorial scenes, but some works focus solely on objects as symbol or metaphor.
A variety of materials are used to create these works and each medium and
fabrication method offers a different visual platform to best serve my ideas.
I choose each material for the unique emotional, psychological or tactile qualities
it can add to a piece. My primary medium, is also the material with an
overabundance of unique characteristics and qualities. Clay. It’s malleability,
versatility and magical nature allows me to sculpt, cast, fabricate, mold or model
whatever I can imagine with my hands. Clay also partners easily with other
materials and processes which enables me to expand my visual vocabulary.
Mold making lets me to add realism and iconography through cast parts and
objects. Wood and leather introduce rich colors, patterned grains, supple
surfaces and visual warmth. Stone has a classical or timeless presence with its
hard, yet smooth surface to add a sense of gravitas to a sculpture.
Working this way empowers my art to share a unique point of view, that’s been
filtered through the personal experiences of my life. I want to leave folks with
something to think about from the dialogue or storytelling occurring between the
person and me through my work. Then hopefully, due to this shared experience,
the person will feel a commonality or recognition of the narrative I’m
communicating through my art.
Paul Andrew Wandless was born in Miami, Florida and grew up in Smyrna,
Delaware. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics and Sculpture from the
University of Delaware, a Master of Arts in Ceramics from Minnesota State University-
Mankato and then earned his Master of Fine Arts in Ceramics and Printmaking from
Arizona State University. He also worked with art historians while earning his MA and
MFA to study the different styles of writing in the arts. Wandless returned to the greater
Philadelphia area after finishing graduate school, where taught and had his studio for 10
Wandless currently lives and has his studio in Chicago, IL. His sculptures and
prints feature ceramic processes, printmaking methods and a wide variety of sculptural
techniques and mediums. Clay, printmaking, stone carving, mold making, leather
working, metal smithing, wood carving and painting are all mediums used in combination
or individually for creation of his works. His clay work, prints and sculptures have been
widely exhibited since 1995 including a recent solo exhibitions at the Ohr-O’keefe
Museum of Art. His art works are published in 16 books and collected privately and
As a writer, Wandless authored Image Transfer On Clay, 500 Prints On Clay,
Image & Design Transfer Techniques and co-authored Alternative Kilns & Firing
Techniques and is a contributing author in 10 clay technique books. He’s written 28
published articles for several publications including Pottery Making Illustrated, Ceramics:
Art and Perception and the International Review of African American Art. A DVD was
also created of Wandless by the American Ceramic Society titled, Fundamentals of
Screen Printing On Clay with Paul Andrew Wandless.
Wandless has served on several Boards in different capacities since 2001. He
currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Penland School of Art (2015 – ). He served
on the Board of Directors for the International Ceramic Artists Network (ICAN) as Vice
President, the Board of Directors for the National Council on Education for the Ceramic
Arts (NCECA) as a Director-at-Large, the Board of Directors for The Clay Studio of
Philadelphia and the steering committee for the Philadelphia Sculptors. He was also an
NCECA Presidential Appointee for the Demonstrating Artist Video Program as the Video
Wandless has given 93 workshops regarding his art, techniques and research
around the U.S. and Canada since 2000. He lectures frequently and sits on panels
addressing a wide range of art related topics from technique and process to aesthetics
and art theory. He has received recognition for his work in the form of awards from
Minnesota State University, Mankato as a recipient of the Distinguished Young Alumni
Award and from the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) as an
Outstanding Achievement Award recipient.