Sarah German


Sarah German

My work is an exploration in function, form, texture, and color. My experience in ceramics, sculpture, and printmaking has led me to my current work.

My pieces are intended for everyday use, but it is important to me that they reach outside the boundaries established by today’s culture of mass production.  Using a handmade piece of pottery on a daily basis allows for a more personal and unique experience that is a result of skill and craftsmanship, which tends to be absent in the world of large-scale manufacturing.  It creates a personal connection between the artist and the user.

I create functional porcelain pottery that is primarily wheel-thrown and then altered to its finished form. Each piece begins as a blank cylinder thrown on the wheel, and then altered using various hand-building techniques. Through ovaling, darting, removing sections, and building with slabs, I create a unique handmade piece that could never be confused for something found at a chain store.

The work is decorated using ceramic underglazes and direct and indirect screen-printing techniques. Occasionally the imagery used in my decoration is subject based, but most often it is a repetitive pattern used as two-dimensional texture to enhance the smooth surfaces of the work.

There are a couple of factors that lead to my use of a porcelain clay body. The first relates to the functionality of the piece. Much of my work is dinnerware, and the smoothness of the porcelain allows for a satisfying experience when touching the piece with the hands, mouth, or utensils. The porcelain body also provides a clean white background to place my imagery and allows for my colorful glazes to reach their full intensity. Due to the need to see the imagery with which I decorate my pieces, I use mostly transparent and translucent glazes in combination with an opaque black or brown glaze. The work is fired to cone six in an electric kiln.

Artist Biography

I was born in 1984 and grew up in Ankeny, Iowa.  I earned an Art: Studio degree from the University of Northern Iowa in 2006 with emphases in ceramics, sculpture, and printmaking.  It is the combination of these mediums that led me to my current work.  Since college I have been working as a part-time studio potter where I produce work for galleries, art festivals, and exhibitions from my home studio. 

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