Artist Interview: SJK Objects' Sarah Henry
Ceramicist Sarah Henry’s functional wares are inspired by prairie skies and earthy textures and handmade in her Vancouver studio that she shares with fellow potter, Kat Pino.
Who are you and what do you design?
My name is Sarah Henry and I design/make functional pottery.
Tell us about your journey as an artist.
I started my pottery journey in art school where I majored in ceramics and printmaking. After finishing my Bachelor of Arts majoring in Fine Arts, I went on to pursue something more "practical" (i.e. something I could find a job in). I did a bachelor of interior design and worked in commercial hospitality design for a year while simultaneously keeping up a part-time pottery gig. I have since left my interior design position to pursue pottery full time. I still plan to circle back on design, but for right now I am very happy spending my days potting!
If you could choose one word to describe your collection what would it be?
Where do you find your inspiration?
I am majorly inspired by my roots in Saskatchewan, where I'm from, which is known as the "land of the living skies." Growing up, I spent all my summers at my grandparents’ cabin on a lake called Katepwa and it was there that I learned about gardening, digging, swimming, fires, stars, etc. - all of which in retrospect were about how to use and enjoy the earth we were living on. I still go back to Katepwa every summer and I continue to feel inspired by the fundamental lessons I learned there and feel they translate into my work through colour, material, and texture.
I also find inspiration the millennial way on Instagram, Pinterest, through friendships, other designers and makers, and some good old-fashioned sketching.
Have you taken any risks to land where you are now?
My freshest risk was quitting my interior design job to pursue full-time pottery, but once I took that risk, it didn't seem like much a risk after all. It has obviously changed my day-to-day life and the amount of time I have to devote to my pottery work, however I think the biggest impact this decision had on me was the space it cleared out in my mind to let me really dive in.
Is there a designer or brand with whom you’d love to collaborate?
I would really love to collaborate with Sarah Hammond on a wildlife campaign to raise money to support local sea life (I haven't spoken to her about this yet!). I was really inspired by some of her recent posts and suggested podcasts about Orcas in the Salish Sea and her illustrations of wild animals are amazing.
Looking ahead, what do you hope to accomplish?
I hope to continue to be curious about new things and never be stagnant with my work or personal life.