A true artist, Sara Winkle, creates beauty straight from the heart. Living in the woodlands of Topanga, her work is inspired by the greatest artist of all - Mother Nature. Sara is quiet and observant, her eye finding inspiration in her surroundings. We've proudly supported her and her work since we opened our doors and it's been a joy to see the evolution in her pieces. We are so grateful to Sara for sharing about her work and her life and for this personal glimpse inside her rustic home studio.
Tell us three things you’re looking forward to in 2020.
I am looking forward to experiment with new glazes and carving designs in the studio. Also to reconnect with people in the community and to enjoy nature in the canyon with my loved ones.
When shopping brick and mortar shops, what inspires your purchases and keeps you coming back?
Anything that excites the senses draws me in. A simple space, a uniquely curated collection, soft tones and lovely scents are inspiring. I like hand and ethically made objects that are unique and created on a smaller scale. I keep belongings to a minimum but cherish objects that are functional and made with care that will last a long time.
What do you love about living in the mountains?
I enjoy the solitude and calm right next to the busy metropolis. It’s a blessing to live in the midst of trees and to wake up with the sunlight. I love the plants, the trees, the roots, the rocks, the ground. I am very grateful to be living here for a while, it’s a special place to be.
What are three things you love about yourself?
That’s a difficult question. Some days I feel incredibly creative and am able to channel that into my work. On other days, not so much...I like myself best when I am efficient and accurate at what I do and when I am kind to others. Experiencing flow when creating and to share that with others is the greatest joy. That’s when I love myself and the world.
What people, living or deceased, would you call your muse or guru or biggest inspiration?
I am careful with people worship and don’t really have one person. There is endless inspiration to draw from what society and individuals have created throughout times in songs, literature, imagery and poetry. I think the beauty is how we interpret, transform and make something new from that. Nature is a big inspiration to me. Sometimes the ugly and sad can be as much of a motivator to create. Building a sculpture can be the means of processing a problematic experience or working with clay on the wheel by itself is a meditative and healing act. Sometimes it’s all about the process and less about the end result. When the outcome is amazing that’s the most satisfying feeling. It’s like a magical healing potion with an excellent end result. For me also it is the simple joy of passing on a handmade object to someone else.
You have a very keen artistic aesthetic. Tell us about your journey to ceramics and how you stay inspired.
When I was little drawing was the only thing I was good at so it was an easy decision to choose something artistic as an overarching career direction.
During arts college in Germany I interned at a local pottery studio and came into touch with clay for the first time. There was an instant connection and I loved it. In hindsight I know it would have been the right thing to pursue - but I got scared by the thought of having no financial stability. I went into digital arts and it took moving across the globe for me to return to clay eventually. There was always the drawing that acted as a bridge between both worlds. I still love to animate and illustrate and it’s super rewarding to be able to combine these skills with clay carving techniques on my ceramics.
Something that keeps me continuously inspired is the scientific aspect of ceramics. There are so many angles you can take on the subject and so much to learn about. I really got into alternative firing techniques when I joined a clay studio in santa monica a few years back. I love the excitement of manually working with an old gas kiln. In our old front yard I built a mini underground kiln and experimented with raku and sagger firing techniques. It was a blast throwing materials into the pit and to wait and see what would happen on the surface of the pieces.
With an hour of free time what would you do?
A walk in the canyon to recharge and break up the work day.
If you had one quote to live by…
Don't be satisfied with stories, how things have gone for others. Unfold your own myth. -Rumi
Also, a wise ballet teacher told me once when I was trying too hard:
"Two tears in a bucket, mother fuck it."