Sara Baker Handmade Stoneware
"I started making pots in high school where I became fascinated with the processes of throwing, glazing and firing clay. 25 years later, clay still amazes me and making pots is a way of life. Creating art that brings pleasure to people can connect us all in the rhythms of the world."
These pieces are inspired by patterns seen in the natural world. Shells, water, sand, clouds, trees and their bark, leaves, and even wind all find their way into these designs. Instead of overlooking these organic ideas, these pieces enlarge and exaggerate them to show the beauty and simplicity in things we often take for granted. The vibrant colors add drama and highlight the textures seen in these patterns and give them new life.
Stoneware clay is thrown on the wheel to create a flat pancake which is then cut to the desired shape. A design is sketched into the soft clay, and then roughly carved. Then clay is added, carved and smoothed,added, carved and smoothed again until the appropriate depth and edge emerges. After the first firing, several glazes are sprayed and layered to create range of color and texture. The glazes are sprayed from only one direction to highlight the contrasting bare clay and the rich glaze which emphasizes the sculptural aspects of each piece.
Sara attended Haverford College, achieving a B.A. in Art History. An apprenticeship for a potter in North Carolina and 3 years at the Worcester Center for Crafts followed. She set up a studio in Pennsylvania in 1992 making functional pots. After 20 years, Sara was looking for something new. There is room to develop ideas fully, without constraints, and Sara sees no limits to where these sculptural ideas may go.
Selected Exhibitions & Awards
Pa Craft , Harrisburg, Pa, State Museum, 2007
Margaret Harlow Award, Bemidji, Mn., Bemidji State University, 2005
Crafts National, Lancaster, Pa, Lancaster Museum of Art, 2006