Visit saraswink.com for upcoming exhibits & workshops

Visit my studio during Portland Open Studios, the 2nd & 3rd weekends in October

Artist’s Statement & Bio:

Working in clay, I make human and animal figures with a psychological stance. Each piece is a container for dreams, fantasies, memories and feeling states. I use encoded shapes, surfaces, color and facial expression to suggest the subtleties and contradictions of what lies just beneath the surface of consciousness. All this is delivered with dash of humor, making the heady pill a little easier to swallow.
The art and dream worlds are interconnected: Both invite the unconscious to become conscious; both rely on a language of symbols open to interpretation, both contain clues about psychological patterns. The receptivity of clay invites this kind of inner exploration and is the perfect vehicle to respond to my longing for symbolic understanding, personal reconciliation and regeneration.

Each piece is unique and satisfies a need to express my ideas and feelings, yet the stories of the pieces have a universal quality. I like to work quickly and freely so the ideas have a chance to emerge before the intellect shuts down the process. Thus my pieces have an instinctual quality, and may appear as unpolished as the raw feelings they often represent.

Whether the subject matter is mid-life passage, as in my “Sea Change” series where swimmers and fish-girls drift about in the transitional seas of the unconscious, or about the legacy of women textile artists in my family, as in the “Fashion Plate” series, the focus is always inner-directed.

My vocabulary originates from a process methodology that includes collage, writing, sketching, doodling on paper and improvising in clay. Most often I coil-build with rough sculpture clays fired to mid-range temperatures. Surface treatments include combinations of cracking slip, oxides, stains and glazes, sometimes finished with gold leaf, waxes and inks.

I have loved clay since childhood, and after leaving it behind for many years, returned first to the potter’s wheel and then to process-oriented sculpture. For a number of years I took classes & workshops with Coeleen Kiebert that supported my preference to work with the clay in an introspective way, while at the same time pursuing my academic art education at Foothill College, San Jose State University, and San Francisco State University. At Coeleen’s suggestion I began teaching in 2000 at a number of California venues and in my own studio, while participating in regional shows. In 2006, I moved to the Portland area, where I established Clay Circle Studio. I’m a member of Oregon Potters Association. See saraswink.com for upcoming exhibits and workshops.

You can watch an Oregon Art Beat segment on me and my work: https://www.opb.org/television/programs/artbeat/segment/ceramic-artist-sara-swink.

One Response to “About”

  1. Melanie Rudnick Says:

    Hello!! I think I’m on your mailing list but maybe not.. please add me. Hope all is well. I miss you and your amazing self. .. and your amazing work. The mermaids happily cheer me on to great things — see attached.

    I’ll let you know when I get to Portland again.

    Love …

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