a studio visit to Anastasia tumanova

A year ago I visited Heron Arts gallery, where I first met Anastasia. "Sanctuary" was an inspiring group show of four bay area artists and crafts women. Anastasia curated this wonderful exhibition and also was one of the exhibitors in the show. I was amazed with her beautiful work and her magical personality and started following her creative journey immediately. Due to covid I couldn't visit her at the studio but we had an exciting online conversation, which I'll share with you today.


photo: Jen Siska


After taking part in three back-to-back exhibitions in 2019, Anastasia made a decision to focus on her studio and commissions in 2020. Then Covid started and made her decision even easier. Anastasia didn't panic from the global pandemic, she saw it as an opportunity to focus on herself, to follow her own way.


She immigrated from Russia to the US when she was five years old. In Russia kids are expected to learn to swim, paint and practice a musical instrument, and this was the way Anastasia was raised to be both athletic and art educated. She grew up spending a lot of hours practicing her art and playing the violin. She was a professional symphony violinist until age twenty four, until she moved to San Francisco to pursue a design career in technology. Anastasia was bored playing compositions of others and decided she wanted a change.


"I wanted to create myself"


She worked as a brand designer in several tech companies for ten years, and in her free time she practiced a lot of different mediums, especially ceramics and painting. One day it popped to her mind, “why can’t I do ceramics as my full time job? I’ve been designing for other companies for ten years now, I could do this for my own clients." This is how she started her artistic journey.


In the last five years Anastasia worked really hard, she went after her heart, creating different art projects that interested her. She didn't stop exploring and creating her own kind of aesthetic.


"Your power as an artist is that choice, to understand and to choose from all of your creations- what is really you".


Anastasia started her exploration with ceramics, she made magical tapestries with ceramic pieces. Ceramics that is painting, and painting that is made out of ceramics. She explored different shapes and compositions, paying a lot of her attention to the light. Her work is very meditative, she draws a lot of inspiration from nature. As a kid in Russia, she used to do a lot of hiking, kayaks and camping so for her- returning to the great memories of her childhood is delightful.


photo: Anastasia Tumanova

photo: Anastasia Tumanova


Nowadays she is living next to the Golden Gate Park and feeling very thankful for being so close to nature. She loves all the different details, texture and shapes of nature in the park and she brings this love and inspiration into the studio by documenting nature in her beautiful paintings and ceramic arrangements.


photo: Anastasia Tumanova


For Anastasia nature is healing, bringing her happiness and moments of joy, the energy to create. She focuses her energy and time in the thing she likes most - Art. She is always trying to balance her seriousness and hard work with joy and fun moments. Even in the administration part of her business, she is trying to put some fun.


Anastasia also creates handmade tableware and vases. She makes her objects on the potter's wheel, then she carves them and paints on them with watercolors. This last year Anastasia spent a lot of time testing different colors and their meaning. She tried to use more color but still kept her concept of aesthetics.


One of my favorite projects is her beautiful and dynamic ceramic mandalas for the wall. In these she hand makes different shapes and sizes of leaves, especially Eucalyptus and then she combines them to a whole magical ceramic mural. In her studio you can find baskets full of her lovely variety of clay leaves. With her Eucalyptus installations she brings the outdoors into her studio and then into the home of her customers.



photo: Jen Siska

photo: Jen Siska

photo: Jen Siska

photo: Jen Siska

photo: Jen Siska

photo: Anastasia Tumanova


She works with different kinds of clay and porcelain, which means different kind of colors. Anastasia likes to use color that she sees around her when she's hikes. Calming colors of nature and leaves. Terra cotta is one of her favorite colors, the color of earth.



photo: Anastasia Tumanova

photo: Anastasia Tumanova

photo: Anastasia Tumanova


In the last year Anastasia became a full time artist, spending her time creating and enjoying every moment. I feel very thankful to Anastasia for sharing with me her inspiring journey, and wishing her to keep on conveying her emotions through these beautiful pieces of art.


photo: Anastasia Tumanova





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