Sarah Newberry

Since my youth my parents instilled in me a love for nature and a reverence for the earth. Those values remain with me today and are reinforced through strong family and community ties.

Memories made with my family playing on the beaches of Lake Michigan prepared me for the sort of work and creative play that would someday be essential to my career as a ceramic artist and are often represented in my work. I have spent countless hours as a child picking through rocks and sand at Lake Michigan to find the most brilliant shell to take home or to use in a sand sculpture. While the never-ending wave-formed ripple marks created by the water in the sand have always amazed me.

Other significant memories are long walks taken with my sister and dog through grassy fields or our small neighborhood in Michigan. A cool breeze gently flowing through the tree leaves and into the grassy fields looks like an ocean twirling the grasses around the brilliant wildflowers. While small houses in our neighborhood were stacked so close to each other created a great environment for walking in winter.

Objects discovered during my adventures in local wildlife areas inspire these ceramic forms and finishing processes. This work conveys my love for nature and the beautiful details of small plants that are often overlooked. The product of flowers, the dry seedpods, are often unseen and disregarded. These fruit release their seeds and when they become an empty shell, they are most remarkable to me. The interior of the fruit is just as appealing as the outside because of their contrasting color, appearance, and purpose. Functional pottery gives the same sense. What a jar is storing is probably the most important part to many, however the container in which it lives is a wonder in itself.

Function is a focus for most of my creations. Everything today seems temporary or disposable. Pottery is made to be used frequently- on a daily basis if chosen to- and what is exciting is it can survive hundreds of years and be passed down through families.

My work will continue to reflect my appreciation for nature and community, its preciousness, and the sense of serenity it conveys. Through focusing on natural life and the simplistic beauty in unseen details, my work will continue to develop with my connection with nature and those I experience it next to.