Pittsburgh Artist Registry

Sandra Moore

Sandra Moore

Artistic Category artist
Career Level Professional
Experienced With For-hire services, Commissions, Leading workshops, Teaching engagements

            Building forms from different clay bodies to fit into one another like a puzzle, lets me blend pink, yellow ocher and neutral colors together into one piece. The highly burnished forms take a month or longer to create. After the construction of these forms, they are bisque and then gold fired. The final phase is a very fast and a fluid process. The kiln is raised to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and I visually use the heat cues on the ware to pick the exact moment to stop the firing and immediately reduce with Horsehair.

           I am drawn to the intimate and painterly approach of horsehair reduction. The process demands acute awareness of specific moments in time. The temperature and color of the hot clay dictates the moment when the hair creates line and smoke. The carbon from the hair is embedded into the burnished layers of the clay resulting in translucent planes of line and smoke.  The piece tells the story of each of those moments.



Art has been a process of living for me. In the 70s, I was a stringer photographer for UPI and Associated Press. I worked in the late 70’s as a lab tech to subsidize my fun job with the wire serves. In the 80s and 90s I worked as a Scenic Artist for a variety of theaters and schools, while raising kids.

 In 2007 to 2016 I taught Art at The Neighborhood Academy. Since retiring from a full-time job teaching, I work more in my studio and teach part time ceramics at Lauri Anne West Community Center and Art in the Garden in Borland Gardens. I am also teaching Scenic Art at Winchester Thurston Upper School. 


 My work in sculptural ceramics, uses clean shapes, thrown and burnished. The clay bodies I use are Standard 105 (white) and Starworks Ceramics, North Carolina Okeewemee Fine (pink). Together in one piece these colors create a contrast that reminds me of my grandmother.

The pieces are fired for gold and the horsehair reduction. I paint with the hair using heat cues to create a variety of effects. When I start laying on the hair, the piece is around 1400 Degrees Fahrenheit. There is an orangish/yellow glow that encircles the outside edge of the piece like a halo. I raise the top from the kiln bed and lay the first hairs on the piece at this temperature. This will deoxidize, creating white lines. As the piece cools down until the last hairs are placed, the lines are black due to the reduction of carbon. 

Each beloved horse that was groomed for the hair, have their own individual oils. The oils add a colored rising smoke pattern. 

I love the contrast of the meticulous building of the piece, then subjecting it to a fast, intense thermal shock event. Dancing around the piece with hair falling and reducing it into the clay for a 2-minute period of time is exhilarating and freeing.

Exhibitions and Awards of note:

·      STEAM Grant from The Pa. Council of The Arts 2020, for The Clay Project.

·      The Heinz Endowment Grant to work in an inner-city school to build a mosaic mural. 2008

·      Associated Artist 2019 Annual at The Westmorland Museum of American Art 

·      2019 Hoyt Regional Exhibition

·      The Pennsylvania State Museum “State of Art” 2013,2017, 2018, and 2020 exhibits 

·      Pittsburgh Society of Artist 2018 annual award

·      Westmoreland Museum Biannual 2013

·      Westmoreland Nationals Craft Awards 2013, 15 and 16. 

·      NCECA Bailey Pottery Ceramics Teacher Grand Prize 2012 

·      Carnegie Museum, Associated Artist 2011 - Annual Friends of Art Purchase Award.

·      The Heinz Endowment Grant to work in an inner-city school to build a mosaic mural. 2008

·      Associated Artist 107, Westmorland Museum of Art, 2019t

·      Associated Artist 100th Annual Carnegie Museum of Art. 

·      Associated Artist 99th Annual Carnegie Museum of Art.

·      Three Rivers Arts Festival - Emerging Artist Award 2006. 


        I am a member of the Associated Artists of Pittsburgh and The Pittsburgh Society of 






Glenshaw, Pennsylvania 15116
412 303 3952
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  • Drawing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Sculpture
  • Set design
  • Craft


  • Ceramic
  • Clay
  • Digital painting
  • Glass
  • Landscape
  • Mosaic
  • Mural
  • Nature
  • Oil Paint
  • Realist
  • Conceptual