Maker Monday: Amanda Dexheimer Creates Cups Full of Love

Amanda Dexheimer, artist and founder of Love Cups.

Amanda Dexheimer wears her heart on her sleeve. She believes everyone has a story, and the meaningful details she discovers become imprinted on her pottery. Amanda believes in the power of community and designs her life to have maximum impact.

We asked Amanda to share the motivation behind her latest artist collective that raises money to help women and girls oppressed by ISIS in Iraq.

Potter Amanda Dexheimer makes beautiful clay cups to illustrate her concern for suffering women and girls in Iraq.

In response to the need you saw in young Iraqi girls kidnapped and abused by ISIS, you created a collective called The Love Cups. Can you describe what Love Cups is, where the name comes from, and what led you to it create it?

The Love Cups movement is about us making a much bigger impact together than we can alone—as a busy mom, artist, and small business owner I knew I needed the help of my peers. 

The name Love Cups goes back to the idea of extending love to these families that need us to stand in the gap. If I were in their position I would want someone to hear my story and do the same. Each cup I make has a crimson red heart imprinted in the porcelain. The ruby crest symbolizes the hearts of the women and children torn apart by ISIS in the Middle East.

(Love Cups members currently include Patty Springfield, Linda Dowdell, as well as Peggy Ward and Maddie Morden, whose work art is shown below.)

Love Cups, an artist collective that uses beautiful handmade goods to raise funds for small business grants for displaced women in Iraq, is hand-built just like the Amanda Dexheimer's cups.

Tell us about the hashtag you launched, #artmeetssocialjustice.

Many hands using their God given gifts can promote justice and opportunity for individuals who find themselves voiceless. A close friend and fellow artist for the Love Cups, Jamie Roche, and I each have a nine year old girl and we want to seek justice within our means–and through our craft–for those nine year old girls abducted by ISIS. If our collective work can be a part of providing any amount of relief to those families, then it has to be done.

How did you get started in your artistic field?

As a young child we would go to my uncle’s Christmas tree farm outside of Asheville, NC and there were potters with a roadside studio on our drive in. I was like a kid in a candy shop interested in every detail of their hand built porcelain trade. Thus my love of making began.

Pepper and Orange Jewelry is part of the Love Cups collective, raising funds so that displaced Iraqi women can start businesses of their own.

What is the creative process like for you? 

Never-ending. All-inspiring. I would say that creativity lives in every part of my being. It is in my garden, on my dinner table and in my every thought. I usually don’t even finish one thing without starting the next. Everything is from scratch and every detail is of equal importance.

Pepper and Orange Jewelry believe that art can be a means to justice.

Is this a primary job for you or a hobby? 

I say full time mother part time potter. But truth is it is more than a full time job for me.

Does “Love first; ask questions later” resonate with you?

Absolutely, I think it’s the need that matters. It important that we educate ourselves on the things we are involved in but I think most importantly we just need to “love”. The things that matter to our hearts don’t need to make sense to anyone else. It is about doing something, period.

A variety of artists donate their handmade goods to Love Cups, so that displaced Iraqi women can access the funds they need to start small businesses of their own.

Amanda Dexheimer remakes her world through her art and her community. She makes space in her life for the people she values most. We are grateful that, through her art, she is actively remaking the world around here!