Psychological soup

Sara Swink’s studio is every clay artist’s dream: a spacious room with plenty of table space, and organized areas for drying, glazing and kiln.  There she creates her one-of-a-kind clay figures.

Little people and humanized animals decorate the wall shelves, looking down on her workspace.  Sara avoids happy faces, focusing on more ambiguous and mixed feelings in her figures.  The emotions expressed are more reflective of the human condition, where everything is a jumble and consciousness is fragmented.  The narrative quality of art interests her.  “I like to indulge in my own psychological soup.”

Sara’s works begin with a collage, developing an image vocabulary with bits and pieces from magazines.  Dreams and toys from childhood are among the inspiring elements that connect to the images she finds.  A doodling session follows, which helps her to focus on style. Then she is ready to translate her ideas into clay.  The finished clay piece may look very little like the collage that inspired it.  “I always try to insert some fun, even if it’s not conscious,” Sara says, emphasizing that it’s important for her not to be too controlling while she is creating.

She teaches this creative process, which she learned from Coeleen Kiebert, in her spacious clay studio, where she holds workshops, as well as drop-in classes on Mondays and Saturdays.  For more information, contact Sara at 971-271-0480.

Currently, Sara is working on a set of post topper sculptures for New Seasons Market.  For this commissioned project, she first created a set of maquettes so that her client could see what the sculptures would look like.  The full-sized sculptures are now in progress.  She also has an Etsy shop at    where she sells wall-hanging animal figures full of individual personality.

As you visit Sara’s studio, be sure to spend time with her evocative sculptures.