SEE THE COMPLETE ROUND-UP: Potters Council Tour of Ireland
Sara Roberts’ studio is nestled next to her family home in the Irish countryside, a short walk from the cliffs and open beaches of the Atlantic coast.
She and her husband built the home and studio from what was left of an abandoned stone farmhouse and barn. They worked for more than a decade to create living and working spaces that appear to have been here on this land forever.
A path from the house leads to a breath-taking vista of rocky cliffs and shoreline, the ever-changing seascape she attempts to capture in her art. Created in glazed porcelain, Sara’s highly textured pieces reflect the drama of this magnificent West Cork coastline.
On this day, we are at Sara’s studio to glaze our own landscape pieces. We gather around jars of labeled glazes, scrutinizing colors that, if applied correctly, will mimic the rocks, sandy beaches, glistening sea. The goal seems overwhelming, but Sarah leads us through the process, generously sharing her experience and knowledge.
She describes the effect each glaze is intended to create. “Intended” is the operative word here, as glazing and the layering of combinations can yield surprising results. We won’t know the full story until the pieces are fired and the kiln is unloaded.
For today, we are happy to follow Sara’s lead and see where it might go. Eventually, it takes us out the door and down the path toward the sea. Walking along the cliff, it’s easy to see why Sara’s work has been devoted to capturing this beauty.
I thought a lot that day about my own home and studio on California’s central coast. Like Sara, I have the sea and the land for daily inspiration. When I’m walking the trail near my home now, I often think about Sara on her own coast – and how lucky we both are to live and work surrounded by such beauty.