Sarah Burton

the contemplative process

Sarah Burton produces decorative ceramic vessels using traditional pottery techniques, drawing from texture, colour and patterns found in nature, especially coastal landscapes.

Sarah says, “Great craft is the combination of applying skill with function and form, to produce something beautiful and unique that someone would enjoy in their home.

There are so many ways to make ceramic vessels and objects and after forty years of making pottery I still get excited at opening the kiln to see if the pot has come out as expected: has it cracked? has the glaze worked? has it produced something totally unexpected and beautiful?”

Sarah is a versatile maker, hand building with coils and slabs of clay, and throwing on a potter’s wheel. She makes one-off pieces from stoneware clay, adding textures and colours through a simple palette of no more than three glazes. Her skill in applying these to each piece ensures they will combine during firing to produce more colours.

In response to the challenges of the last 18 months, Sarah slowed her approach to pottery. Taking a break from working on the wheel and producing numerous small pieces, she went back to her love of slow-making: creating one-off large coiled vessels, embracing how they may take weeks to make. She’s enjoying the contemplative process of where to add each coil; deciding on each pot’s contours as it grows; patiently waiting for sections to dry to give enough structural integrity for the next phase of making.