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All Things Ampersand

Studio Tour: Judith Simonds

Judy Simmonds in her studio



Lucky me! I am the guest blogger for this week’s post. My name is Andrea Pramuk and I’m Ampersand’s Marketing Director.   

It occurred to me that I happen to know a lot of interesting and fabulous artists local to the Austin area where we manufacture your favorite panels and mine. I’m also an artist that uses Ampersand boards so I’m in a unique position to recommend our products to my artist friends. One of those is Judith [Judy] Simonds who I’ve known since our days in graduate school at UT Austin. Judy is originally from Mequon, WI, near Milwaukee, but has lived in Austin for more than 20 years and currently teaches ceramics at Austin Community College. A wonderful cook as well as artist, Judy invited me over for a delicious meal and studio visit just a few weeks ago. I managed to snap a few shots of her studio and works in progress with my phone while I was there.


Judy’s background is mainly in hand-built ceramic sculpture, but she is also multi-disciplined in painting and drawing. The art forms she uses for her language are lifelike, organic and earthy, inspired by nature, universality and life experience. Her newest pieces are dark, black and haunting, but also exude a playfulness and serenity that is unique to her work. If you’re interested to know more about this particular body of work, she talks about it during the last
EAST Austin Studio Touron KLRU and on Arts in Context on KLRU where she talks about her current experience as a Generous Artist.

Judy prefers to work in oils and acrylics on Claybord™ with the 2” deep cradles, as they tie in well with the sculptures she creates, painting the edges jet black to juxtapose next to the sculptures. I took a picture of them together so you’d get the idea. Mostly working from photographs, dreams and memory, Judy is able to create the most captivating and tactile natural art environments.  


Just as I walked into her studio (a converted two-car garage) I noticed this ingenious low-fi hanging hardware she had built herself. Amazingly enough, she designed it to hang our 2” cradled boards which fit perfectly over the top on the inside of the cradle–no wire needed! Built from connecting 2–1”x 2”x6” boards glued together and then securely screwed into a stud in the wall, this makes the perfect and LEVEL hanging system for photography and an organized space to critique her work and to hang wet paintings.

Do you love Judy’s work? 
Stay on top of her latest news: 
Visit Judith Simonds website: www.austincc.edu/jsimonds 
Simonds Studio Facebook Fan Page:

Judy’s Hardware


Artwork hanging on Judy’s homemade hardware