ABOUT WORKSHOPS > Summer Workshops

Every summer I offer one or more longer workshops. In 2019 I'm offering a 5-day totem workshop and a 2-day workshop at Hoffman Center for the Arts.

See workshop descriptions under WORKSHOPS or HAPPENINGS on this website.

Questions? Want to sign up? email me at sara.swink@gmail.com or call me at 971-271-0480.

Some comments from 2015 summer workshop participants

“Juicy Juicy Juicy!! You created a protected and contained psychic space where I could—and did— enter the creative dynamic, fast and deep. Your firm clarity about process, generosity and transparency invited me to make work in a new way. I’m shifting out of a focus on form and surface into a more expressive freedom. Grateful!” A.S.

“The collage and gesture drawings are tools I plan to incorporate into my work in my own studio. I found them to be valuable tools to use as a jumping off point in beginning a piece as well as a reference point when I got stuck. I appreciated the sharing you (Sara) did about your own work and process behind the pieces. The session on glazes, underglazes and stains was helpful. I really liked that we were free to use as much clay as we wanted. The workshop and talks with you and the other participants helped me reconnect with the material and energy I thought I had lost being away from clay for so long. Now I feel I can jump right back in when I return home.” S.Y.

I got just what I wanted from this time—to be immersed in my inner life, in the flow of that creative stream. As the week went on, that flow included dreams, little found treasures from my walks, overheard conversations that felt like they had floated out of my own thoughts. For me the collage is the most personal, fascinating unfolding of mysterious stories with characters that sometimes surprise me with their familiarity. Just like dreaming and making art! I loved being with a benevolent and wise guide. And I so appreciated your way of reining in people who want to talk too long, or when we get off track and start idly chatting. A great atmosphere to work in. Clean, quiet, light, great camaraderie, and really good music. That’s it. Do you think I enjoyed the workshop? It will definitely filter through my creative practice.” N.L.

While I did attend a previous workshop, this time I feel that “the practice” of drawing on collage really stuck! The idea of pulling from dreams and from past experience for images I will carry with me into my future creative work. I think the sequence of steps during the week worked well for building ideas, one on the other. Each morning I looked forward to what the day would bring. It became a mix of inspiration and technique. I learned so much and am leaving with a new level of confidence and excitement about what will come next in my creative life. I loved every minute with you, Sara!” K.W.

“This workshop allowed and inspired me to move toward my own style—which is what I’m wanting. I leave with images dancing in my head of what I hope to do next. The practice of finding images which strongly attract or repel is incredibly rich and energizing. Sara, you are very good at giving specific help and at getting people to articulate/look for their own answers. Thank you. This workshop also works for those with disparate skills and abilities.” J.M.


Below are some pieces I've done that could be considered totems. The rest of the photos are from a past summer workshop.

Click here to see pix from the August '18 3-Day Landmarks Workshop at Sitka Center for Art & Ecology: www.flickr.com/photos/sitkacenter/album?

What participants have said about summer workshops:

"Wow...what a week that was...Extraordinary, life changing, and kind, are the words that come to mind...I think one can get out of that workshop however much they let themselves be open to. Your style of asking questions and thought evoking words made a huge difference." —L.G.

"Absolutely loved the workshop! - Sara is a great facilitator of the artistic process and a master of letting the artist find his/her own voice in clay as well as their own solutions for expressing that without judgment. I make my living as a professional ceramic artist, so I know what to do with clay, but I was attracted to the narrative quality of Sara's work, and intrigued by her collage process. I was never a big fan of collage, so I knew I had found my teacher!
We all need new inspirations and tools in order to grow as humans and as creative beings... I feel that, that is what Sara provided - a new language for expressing myself.
I left full of inspiration and am still working on my collage journal. It was everything I had hoped for and more. Gracias Sara!" —P.G.

"I was very happy with the work I produced. At other times I have felt the need to produce something of consequence in short order .... but this time I was content to ramble around with a couple of ideas and to see where they led. ... I want to let them "ferment" for awhile before trying to translate them into something tangible. The ... collage experience [is] full of surprises ... an experience that is both fascinating and a bit intimidating. I look at my collage results and find that I've uncovered yet another layer of identity, memory, and emotional souvenirs accumulated during life's many experiences. It is a bit like an archaeological dig where scraping off each layer of soil produces more surprises; surprises that need to be assessed, interpreted, and eventually placed into some useful context.—L.P.

The doodle, 3-D doodle and ceramic doodle really began to loosen things up for me--not as much thinking and emotion as with a collage, although I love making collages. You are a really good, caring teacher who pays much helpful attention to workshop attendees and their work. Also, being at your studio is as comfortable as being at home. In short, I was able to finally work without worry and having to direct myself. —J.C.