WORDs : AM
PHOTOGRAPHY: RYAN LEIBL
Minimal and simple, warm, imperfect and inviting - inspired by nature, fashion, overall functionality and the simple things in life. These are just some of the words that can be used to describe the charmingly elegant and graceful pieces produced by Portland based ceramist Sarah Van Raden under the moniker Notary Ceramics.
After a long journey, which started in rural Oregon and weaved its way through a major in Anthropology, via fashion buying and onto a long successful career as a photo stylist, Sarah found herself faced with certain challenges, the needs of her young family coupled with an unsettling health scare which forced her to reassess the inevitable long hours and travel which came with her chosen career.
With the love and support of her family, Sarah enrolled in a ceramics class at her local art school and immediately found that the rhythm and repetition of the wheel resonated within her soul, she simply adored the seemingly endless room for interpretation that ceramics appeared to offer and within this art form she saw her opportunity. Having reorganised her basement into a studio - complete with a second hand wheel - she was within a relatively short space of time and with the help of her wonderful and enthusiastic stockists, able to turn her dream into a viable business opportunity with her majestic and much coveted pieces.
Having finally found her perfect work life balance, she now works 3 to 4 days a week from her home studio - at the end of a dirt road, still close enough to downtown - where she gets to wake up every morning, get the kids off to school, feed the chickens, make breakfast and wander downstairs in her pyjamas to check out last nights firing. Listening to podcasts whilst working - particularly ones that make her laugh her infectious laugh - helps her to realise her ideas for new pieces, such as the seasonally inspired summer berry strainer influenced by the strawberries growing in her garden and the new garlic roasting dish, which Sarah will be premiering this winter.