Amanda Dumas-Hernandez makes Extreme Craft of the highest order. Her work is playful, witty, beautifully made, historically relevant, and has something to say! That's a mouthful--just like her work. Amanda got her MFA at Alfred University three years after I got mine--I don't know how I've gone this long without knowing about her work. It is rare that ceramic geeks from Alfred stray outside of their chosen material, but Amanda has managed to pull of feats of design including Venetian glassware made from 2-liter soda bottles and hot glue, soap sculpture, a soda bottle chandelier, and plenty of other work that I can't even begin to wrap my mortal brain around.
I particularly love her series "Pretty Plates about Digestion", in which she takes thrift store plates, and embellishes them with imagery associated with the body's role in digestion. Taste buds, various and sundy colon parts, organs, and the bowel all put in their appearance. Dumas-Hernandez is not producing plates for you to dishonor with your inferior cooking, however. She hand paints each plate with "secret paint" for food of the mind and digesting unbearable things. Her current show, "Clean Thoughts" just opened at the Groundfloor Gallery in Sydney Australia. If you find yourself down under, please drop by and feed your head with some secret paint.