Sara Swink, figurative ceramics
I make ceramic human and animal figures with a psychological stance. Introspective, ambiguous, sometimes awkward—they often have a humorous edge. I like to form fast in a gritty sculpture clay, incise into the clay, bisque fire, finish with oxides, underglazes and glazes, then fire to cone 5.
My ideas derive most often from a process methodology that I teach in workshops, which employs simple and accessible techniques like collage and doodling to unleash the unconscious. Often while reading, I encounter a phrase that triggers an idea. I sketch a lot, and one piece often leads to more ideas.
A wise man once said to me that the artist must practice heroic self-indulgence. Making art requires enormous amounts of time, let alone thinking about it, writing about it and running the business of it. In this, I strive to be true to myself and make what I am drawn to make, letting go of what might please a teacher I once had, or what will be likely to sell, or even what might be considered beautiful or clever or important. It’s the process of inner exploration that keeps me moving forward.
All photos on this site by Harold Oxley.