In kindergarten, Amber made her first ceramic piece. It was a blue ashtray with her palm-print in it. From the moment she saw that a malleable piece of mud could be turned into a rock-hard waterproof item, she was hooked on clay. She thought it was magic! Much later in her career (second grade) when she won the school poster contest, she knew she was destined to be an artist when she grew up.
Many years later Amber received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the University of Southern California, and then continued her education with a master’s degree in art education at San Francisco State University. At that time, she also received her California teaching credential and went on to teach ceramics in the public-school system.
When Amber moved to Hawaii in 2001, she left teaching so she could focus on her own art with the goal of being the professional artist that she had envisioned since second grade.
Amber’s work is influenced by her upbringing and life experiences. She is the child of a Holocaust survivor. Her mother survived Auschwitz and the “Death March”, and Amber grew up with an acute awareness of social injustice and discrimination, which affects her work to this day.
Amber is also disabled. In 1994 she went to Utah to take a “survival skills” course and broke her leg in an inaccessible canyon. It was 14 hours before a helicopter could rescue her and many surgical attempts over many years to fix her leg. It was finally amputated in 2019. The years of pain, surgeries and depression from this experience have also influences her work as she relates to the “human condition” that all people experience.
Although her art speaks of her feelings about war, racism, and other forms of social injustice, she often uses whimsey to get her message across. By finding humor in bad situations, she has managed to visually capture people and have them delve deeper into the meaning of her work.
50 years after making that fateful ashtray Amber is represented by top galleries in the field of ceramics and her work is exhibited and collected internationally.