Amedeo was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1965. He attended Kean University in Union NJ, and received a BA in Urban and Outdoor Recreation in 1988 and, an MA in Art Education in 1989. While studying at Kean, doing primarily ceramic sculpture, he fell in love with clay as a medium; he wanted to explore the possibilities further.
Amedeo then attended the University of Delaware where he earned his MFA in Ceramics-Sculpture in 1991. Teaching himself to throw pots (for a shortcut in making one of his sculptures), he become obsessed with making functional pots. This change in direction took Amedeo to rural Georgia after graduation where he took a job at a production pottery working with local folk potters that have been doing clay for generations. It was here that he fine-tuned his skills as a potter. He learned by watching and helping the old-timers fire their wood-fired groundhog kilns. This began his obsession with wood-firing. Amedeo uses Asian forms as his influence in his personal work. Recently he has been exploring abstract images, producing sculpture and paintings as well as pottery. Since 1997 Amedeo has been in Lancaster County, PA, where he currently operates his studio. While not making pots, Amedeo enjoys scouting and riding his motorcycle with his wife, Diane and son, Ian in the Pennsylvania countryside
There are several factors contributing to the development of my teaching philosophy over the years. My main concern is to educate the students to the best of my ability by providing them with a well-rounded knowledge of art; from history to technical information and to teach the how to use these resources and practical knowledge. I am a believer of the critique process of evaluating students’ art work by constructively criticizing the students’ work along with providing possible solutions or directions for them. The critique process should provide a setting where the student can practice verbalizing about his or her work encompassing everything from talking about technical processes and sources of content, to tackling those elements of ones work that are difficult to transmit through words. Also, the critique provides a forum for the audience, instructors, visiting artists or fellow students to offer feedback, suggestions for improvement or affirmation of achievement. Most importantly, the role of the process is to outline how the critique can be useful to the student. It is an important task of the teacher to help the student learn how to benefit from the critique, be it positive or negative. The critique is only valid if it is used constructively.
Ultimately, it is my goal as a teacher to enable my students to reach their potential in making the best visual art they possibly can. Often it is difficult to explain to the students why a particular piece of art works or doesn’t work. In ceramics, it is just as difficult to express what makes a “good pot”. One needs to discuss with the students how the small changes, the nuances of color, texture, weight and form all interact with each other. Sometimes it is necessary to simply give the student a “good pot” to hold and observe in order to gain direct experience. There are things words and numbers cannot express. Students must learn to observe with not only the mind, but the hand, the heart and the soul.
My challenge as a teacher is to create the desire for knowledge in my students. I would hope to teach my students that knowing the elusive “right answer” is not the ultimate goal of their education. Rather, the goal is learning how to ask questions both of themselves and others.