• 3 OPA Shows Open March 21 at Skutt

    The big national ceramics conference, NCECA, hits Portland March 22-25. Oregon Potters Association (OPA) is having 3 shows at Skutt to show off their stuff.

    The Alchemy of Surface Invitational
    34 ceramic artists show off their works and reveal the secrets of their surfaces.
    Keep Portland Wared
    A curated exhibit of traditional and contemporary functional and sculptural ceramics.
    Small Hall
    Smaller, affordable works like mugs and Wallies!

    Opening Reception March 24, 5 pm to 7 pm
    at Skutt Ceramics, 6441 SE Johnson Creek Blvd in Portland
    Shows run March 21-25, 9 am-5:30 pm

    I will be manning the gallery on 3/25, Saturday morning, 9 to noon. Drop by Skutt for a visit.


  • Ceramics Month at Guardino Gallery

    This month Guardino Gallery is dedicating its entire space to AMAZING ceramics. Now through March 28. www.guardinogallery.com

  • DOG PARK show

    Currently running at the Ford Gallery in Portland.


    April 21-23, 2017 Showcase will be back at the Convention Center along with the Gathering of the Guilds! Hooray!
    Fri and Sat, 10 to 7; Sun 10 to 5. Free admission.

  • Create a Personal Shrine Workshop at Sitka

    Creating A Personal Shrine: a 3-Day Workshop to Honor Spirit
    Through Artmaking
    June 5-7, 2017 at Sitka Center for Art and Ecology
    Whatever your religious beliefs, a personal shrine can reflect your innermost beliefs and give you a creative outlet to express goals and ideals. It may be a memorial to a lost loved one or a way to focus on an aspect of self. Shrines, temples, altars, and empowered objects such as amulets, talismans and relics evoke unseen worlds, and are ways to focus energy and explore one’s own cosmology.
    • we will look at shrines and sacred objects from various cultures
    • consider the structure and function of a shrine or altar and its parts and inhabitants
    • incorporate your own mythology in the form of personal totems, family stories, cultural responses, items from nature, etc.
    • build your vision using collage, paper construction and clay
    • create a container for sacred objects
    All levels of clay experience welcome.
    Bisque firing of workshop pieces at my studio included.
    $275 plus $20 materials fee.


    We start with exploration of your own personal image vocabulary and style by inviting images to surface using accessible methods such as collage and doodling. In a series of exercises, we translate said vocabulary into clay sketches of your ideas. From there we use basic hand-building techniques such as coil, pinch and slab to develop and express ideas in a size that is compatible with your level of experience and ambition. With ample time for individual experimentation and play, we cultivate expression while learning ceramic technique. We can draw from the experience and inspiration of master artists through videos. You will come out of the workshop with a number of pieces, which will be ready for bisque-firing and glazing. The sequence of exercises allows for a structured but completely individualized experience, and is suitable for all levels of artistic accomplishment, including beginners.
    Friday–Monday, July 14–17, 10 am–4 pm (plus open studio hours) in West Linn $350 includes materials and bisque firing

    “Juicy, Juicy, Juicy!! The workshop provided a protected and contained psychic space where I could—and did—enter the creative dynamic—fast and deep. Sara’s clarity about process, generosity and transparency invited me to make work in a new way. I’m shifting beyond just form and surface into a more expressive freedom.”


    Explorations in Clay: Totem Workshop
    5-day Workshop: August 14-18, 2017
    A totem is one or more objects that tell the story of an individual or group. Totems, like shrines and other empowered objects, are a way to zero in on what inspires you or is meaningful. In this workshop, we will employ exercises such as collage on paper and loose sketching in clay to collect and play with images, ideas, stories, forms and surfaces that you might want to incorporate. From these source materials, we will develop and design one or more totems to make in clay. You may end up with a number of standalone pieces or pieces for a stacking totem. You are invited to scale your totem to a size that best suits your objectives for the week and comfort level, and within that scale, I will provide guidance and instruction in construction. We'll look at a couple of approaches to stacking totems that will be key to the design process.

    The sequence of exercises allows for a structured but completely individualized experience, and is suitable for all levels of artistic accomplishment, including beginners. Really, beginners are welcome!

    Monday–Friday, August 14-18, 10 am–4 pm (plus open studio hours) in West Linn $425 includes materials and firing.

  • *Approaches to Glazing*

    A one-day workshop to glaze the pieces that you made in the July/August workshop using oxides and stains, underglazes and mid-range glazes. An overview of materials followed by individualized consultation and instruction. All levels welcome.
    August date tba, 10 am–4 pm in West Linn $75 includes materials and firing


    Ongoing classes provide an opportunity to devote a regularly scheduled time to learning and creating among a small group of like-minded souls in a supportive atmosphere. You will discover and pursue your own image vocabulary, learning ceramic techniques as needed to bring your vision into form. As you focus on your own clay projects, instruction is available in basic hand-building methods, and individualized instruction and feedback provided. Advice on glazing and finishing with alternative materials. Special group projects may be undertaken as needed. Process-oriented exercises, clay tools, a generous selection of glazes, and a range of art materials are always available.
    Saturdays, 10 am–12:30 pm or Mondays, 1 to 3:30 pm.
    $135 for 4 classes includes clay, glazes and firing. Use them anytime.
    ($40/one class includes materials and firing; $13.50/hr studio time)


    Concentrated exploration of vocabulary and style using simple exercises in collage, doodling and clay. For all levels—set aside what you know or what you don’t know about technique. Learn a methodology for mining the riches of the unconscious for image vocabulary and artistic style. Hear what people have said: click on 2-Day Workshop in the menu on your left.
    Need more info? Contact me at sara.swink@gmail.com or 971-271-0480.

    Dates tba, 10am to 4pm at my West Linn studio
    $195 includes materials


    My piece "Domestic Production" appears in Ceramic Sculpture: Making Faces, Lark Crafts Books, 2014

    500 Figures in Clay Volume 2, Lark Crafts Books, 2014 features "Tiger Buddha"

    One of my pieces, "Don't Feed the Hand That Bites You" is featured in Humor in Craft by Brigitte Martin, Schiffer Publishing. Available through amazon.com.

    "Contemporary Wildlife Art", Schiffer Publishing, May 2015 features three of my pieces.

    "Art Themes: Choices in Art Learning & Making", a textbook scheduled for publication by Indiana University Press in 2016