when the wind and the light are working off each other so that the ocean on one side is wild with foam and glitter . . . 'Postscript', Seamus Heaney
My inspiration lies in my immediate environment - a beautiful, quiet combination of woodlands and headlands . . .
With a long design background, attention to imagery, form and presentation comes naturally. As a ceramicist, I enjoy the challenge of portraying my natural environment, the allure of its ever changing textures and colours, images created from their constituent parts, earth (clay), sand (glaze) rocks (pigments).
Inspiration comes from the sea and its surrounding environment. I aim to capture the sense of quiet isolation found along stretches of beach, the energy found in crashing waves.
The work often depicts expanses of sand, sea and sky, with distant horizons and detailed foregrounds creating a three-dimensional effect drawing the viewer deep into the landscape and beyond…
In 1927, my grandfather, Hodder W.B. Roberts had an idea and took a sample of local clay to Stoke on Trent for analysis. Carrigaline Pottery was created and ran successfully for many years, fulfilling his plan for enterprise and employment in the then, small village.
75 years later, 8 miles away, I also ‘discovered’ clay and began pursuing a creative dream, restoring an old farm cottage into her ceramic studio.
Capturing the ever-changing textures and colours of my natural environment, I create images in porcelain of a wild solitude – the land and sea around where I was born and now live – indeed the very cliffs where my grandfather always took his summer holiday - perhaps his spirit is still there?
My house and studio are tucked away in a valley east of Kinsale, near Nohoval village. Both were converted from farm buildings dating from pre 1800.
My inspiration lies in my immediate environment - a beautiful, quiet combination of woodlands and headlands, cliffs and coves with a scattering of stone ruins that tell of bygone days.
The work is hand-built in porcelain and the use of a thinly rolled clay canvas pushes the medium to it’s limits ultimately creating a light and delicate feel; there is a strong emphasis on the use of texture.
Pieces are created as one slab. Imagery is inspired by photographs and textures from nature. Some of the larger work is randomly cut when leather hard and rearranged after bisque firing to 1000 C. It is glaze fired to 1230 C. Due to a sensitive use of home made, fit for purpose glazes, the colours are fresh. Underglazes and oxides also respond well to the pure porcelain body.
Some work is mounted on board coated in an off white cellulose paint.
Larger works are mounted on an etched panel within clear glass sheet within a limed woodgrain bevelled frame.
I encourage visitors to view my actual gallery and ‘meet the maker'.
With a long design background, attention to imagery, form and presentation comes naturally. As a ceramicist, I enjoy the challenge of portraying my natural environment, the allure of its ever changing textures and colours, images actually created from their constituent parts, earth (clay), sand (glaze) rocks (pigments).
Inspiration comes from the sea and its surrounding environment. I aim to capture the sense of quiet isolation found along stretches of beach, the energy found in crashing waves. The work often depicts expanses of sand, sea and sky, with distant horizons and detailed foregrounds creating a three-dimensional effect- drawing the viewer deep into the landscape and beyond . . .
My studio is open as long as I am here and I encourage visitors to view my actual gallery and ‘meet the maker’.
I will happily show you around, explain the process and you will see work in progress as well as a large selection of finished pieces.
My work space was apparently once a hen house and before conversion, the ruin was hidden under years of growth and accumulation of rubble.
I have fond memories of your studio and your beautiful acreage along the coast.
Sara offers the opportunity to learn about working with clay in the relaxed environment of her studio, found tucked away at the end of a long treelined laneway, immediately generating that 'getting away from it all’ feeling.
Courses typically run over two days and are limited to 4 or 5 participants. We start at 10am and finish up about 4pm. As a beginner you will learn some techniques and design a number of your own pieces during the first session. If you are more experienced I will help you to work with your own ideas.
Your work will be dried and fired over the following week, ready to be glazed in the second one-day session, after which the glaze firing will take place and pieces will be ready for collection a few days later. I can arrange mounting/framing and delivery if required.
Price of €100 per day includes all materials, morning coffee, delicious home-cooked lunch and afternoon tea. A stroll up the hill after lunch is recommended to help digest and take in the fresh air while being inspired by the spectacular coastal views from the surrounding cliffs.
If you choose not to partake in the glazing workshop I can glaze your work for you. Glazing, framing or delivery as required will incur an additional cost.
Small groups can also book special courses tailored and scheduled to suit their needs.
Relax in the comfort of a nearby home stay if you would like to overnight in the area before or after the workshop. Please ask me for recommendations.
Creative days for kids in July - please enquire or check my news page for updates.
I attended one of Sara's 3-day courses and it was a fantastic experience! The sessions were relaxed in such a pleasant atmosphere. Sara guided and advised us, encouraging full freedom of expression so that we could be truly proud of the accomplished work produced by our novice hands. And the home-cooked lunches were a sumptuous feast!
Patricia (course participant)
Sara’s ceramic workshops are a delightful way to spend a few days learning how to work with clay and the food she serves is the cherry on the cake! Sara is very laid back, giving advice when needed and stepping back when you find your creative plan. She starts the work shop with coffee and delicious cake, a little talk on how to work with clay, explaining about textures and colours and then helps with any ideas you have in mind to get you started. There are pottery samples, books and lots of tools to help you create your own piece.
Lunch is a delicious three courses in her warm, homely kitchen and then perhaps a walk up the fields to see spectacular views of the coastline. Then the afternoon flies by in a hushed silence of creativity. I have enjoyed a number of workshops with Sara and always look forward to them.
Mary, chef from Cork
I was on the Potters Council tour last June. I have fond memories of your studio and your beautiful acreage along the coast. I wanted you to know that you have helped me expand on some techniques that I have been using for years. Making these waterscapes has brought my work to another dimension. This ex-student from BC Canada was totally inspired!
Out of all the Summercamps I’ve done, yours was the best.
Shane, aged 11
A contemporary selection of gifts
A limited number of 'detail' images of my gift range appear below.
Seascape Collection: contemporary range of hand made porcelain wall pieces, each unique, evocative and representative of the wonderful textures and colours found in the natural beauty of the West Cork coastline.
Two sizes available, the larger showing a more detailed scene. Both come tissue wrapped neatly presented in a
sturdy navy box, making this unusual gift easily transported.
A unique imprint of a fern frond, remaining after the leaf burns away during first firing. Unmounted, hooked on reverse
for hanging, wrapped in shredded tissue, the delicate piece comes in a green presentation box.
Individually handmade wall pockets in a range of colours suitable for dried herbs, lavender or fresh flowers.
Lavender not included when posting worldwide.
Mount Size approx Box Size Price
W x H x D in cm W x H x D in cm
Large Boxed Seascape 150 x 220 x 9 200 x 260 x 45 €95.00
Small Boxed Seascape 120 x 170 x 9 160 x 215 x 45 €70.00
Fern Unmounted 100 x 200 x 25 €40.00
Approximate Size Wrapped in Bubble €25.00
80 x 150 cm and presentation envelope
Packaging and postage extra depending on destination:
Ireland Europe Worldwide
Large Boxed Seascape €8.00 €10.00 €13.00
Small Boxed Seascape €6.00 €7.00 €8.00
Fern €5.00 €6.00 €7.00
Flower Pocket €5.00 €6.00 €7.00
PLEASE NOTE: pieces shown are representative only. Please contact me for information on available stock.
Sara Roberts (b.1962, Cork) is a ceramicist living and working from her studio, near Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland
Roberts studied Graphic Design at the National College of Art and Design, Dublin, from 1980-84 and graduated with a degree in Visual Communications. She worked in London, Australia and Ireland as a designer until 2000.
During 2000-2002 she undertook a City and Guilds one year course in Ceramics and was subsequently awarded a bursary at Colaiste Stiofain Naofa, Cork, Ireland.
She consequently set up her own studio and has been working in clay since and frequently exhibiting, both in Ireland and abroad.
Selected shows, (current and upcoming) in 2016:
Feb/March: Irish Ceramics, Barony Centre, Scotland
May: Cork Potters Show, Zozimus, Dublin
Selected group shows in 2015:
May: 6 @ 6, Gallery No 6, Sligo with 5 other Cork Potters
July: Mill Cove Awards Show, Castletownbere, West Cork.
August: Cork Potters Members Annual Show,’Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork
August: Time, Old Mill, Kinsale, Co Cork
August: West Cork Creates, Skibbereen, W Cork
Sept: Sculpture in Context, Botanic Gardens, Dublin
Selected group shows in 2014:
Feb: Contrasts- Six Irish Artists, Sarala’s ArtWorld, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. sponsored by Culture Ireland.
May: Cluster, Spacecraft, Belfast City,
May: The Narrow Space, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
May: Coming Together, The Framemaker, Carrigaline, Co Cork
June: Ceramics Awards Show, Mill Cove Gallery, Castletownbere, West Cork.
July: Aug: 2 person show at The Frank Lewis Gallery, Killarney, Co Kerry.
Aug: Cork Potters Members Annual Show, Wandesford Quay Gallery, Cork
Sept: All Fired Up, Zozimus Gallery, Dublin
Selected group shows in 2013:
May/June: Cork Potters Show,The Blue Egg Gallery, Wexford,
June: Ceramics Awards Show Mill Cove Gallery, Castletownbere, West Cork & Kenmare, Co Kerry.
July: Cork Potters at Mill Cove, The Mill Cove Gallery, Castletownbere and Kenmare, West Cork and Kerry
July: Kinsale Arts Week, Rincurran Hall, Summercove, Kinsale.
August: Thrown Open, Cork Potters at Zozimus Gallery, Dublin
August: Rattlebag, Cork Potters at Fort Camden, Crosshaven, West Cork
September: The Ireland–Newfoundland Trail, a journey of plants and people. Craft Council Gallery, St Johns, Newfoundland, Canada
October: CASe, Lavitt Gallery, Cork City
Selected Group shows in 2012 included:
The Ireland-Newfoundland Trail- a journey of Plants and People. Garter Lane Gallery, Waterford:(curated by Margaret Walsh-Best).
36 Irish Ceramicists, (curated by John Goode of Mill Cove Gallery) The Barony, West Kilbride, Scotland:
Fragility (with The Society of Cork Potters), Fort Camden, Co Cork:
Who made this? (with Cork Craft and Design) Old Mill, Kinsale:
Ceramic Awards Show , Mill Cove Gallery, W Cork
Selected group shows in 2015:
Outside the Box and Perfect Vision, 2020 Gallery, Cork:
30 Years of Cork Pottery Hickey Collections, Clonakilty, Co Cork
Form Function Adorn (with Cork Craft and Design) Old Mill, Kinsale:
Made in Cork, Lavitt Gallery Cork
Transformations (with The West Cork Craft and Design Guild) at Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland and National Botanic Gardens, Dublin
Irish Contemporary Ceramics, Mill Cove Gallery
2008, Shifting Sands, Dunamaise Arts Centre, Co Laois
2007, Making Waves, Stephen Pearce Gallery, Co Cork
2013, Mill Cove Ceramics Awards, selected by The Doorway Gallery, Dublin
2013, The People’s Prize Award, Armagh Market Place Theatre and Arts Centre, Armagh
Irish Ceramics (2nd Edition) by John Goode
Galleries that stock her work include:
The Doorway, Dublin www.thedoorwaygallery.com/
The Open Window, Dublin www.theopenwindowgallery.ie/
Zozimus, Dublin www.galleryzozimus.ie/
Carlingford Design House carlingforddesignhouse.ie/
The Lavitt, Cork City www.lavitgallery.com/
Mill Cove, Beara and Kenmare www.millcovegallery.com/
The Boathouse, Kinsale www.theboathousegallery.ie
The Cat and The Moon, Sligo www.thecatandthemoon.com/
The Narrow Space, Clonmel www.irishart.com/thenarrowspacegallery.php
1608 Gallery, Bushmills, Co Antrim www.gallery1608.co.uk
Roberts also attends annual fairs throughout Ireland namely The National Craft and Design Fair, RDS, Dublin ( 2002-’15) and has been selected to show at fairs including Art in Action (2012, 2014), The Glucksman Gallery, Co Cork (2009-’12) and Castleward, Co Down (2012).
• Irish Art Guide
• West Cork Craft and Design Guild
• Crafts Council of Ireland
• Cork Craft and Design
• Society of Cork Potters
• West Cork Partnership
• Carrigaline Arts Network
Sara Roberts is a ceramicist living and working from her studio, near Kinsale, Co Cork, Ireland
The beauty of the sea-sand-rocks and natural vegetation. . .
Upcoming Exhibitions Summer 2016:
Tracton Arts Festival, Minane Bridge, Co Cork, 6th - 10th July. Opening 7pm on 6th. See www.thetractoncentre.org for details.
'West Cork Creates’- Collaborative Exhibition in O’Driscoll building in Skibbereen.
Cork Craft and Design, Old Mill building, Kinsale, pop up shop during Cork Craft Month.
My work can now be seen at a new gallery in Mayo: The Art House, Achill, Co Mayo
As part of August Craft Month I will be running workshops between 16th and 19th August. You can book in A glazing day will be confirmed at a later date to suit participants or your work can be glazed for you. Mounting of pieces and delivery of work (if necessary) extra.
Cost per day, including all materials and home cooked lunch, €100
See workshop page for more details
Kids Creative days in July: TBC
See BIOGRAPHY for list of current stockists
See NEWS for upcoming events
Studio visits welcome by appointment