Hello - I’m Sarah. Coffee lover, creative human and self-taught slip-cast ceramicist.
I embrace my somewhat perfectionist tendencies and carefully considered creativity to design and make porcelain pieces of the highest quality that inspire wonder, serve a purpose and bring joy to those around them.
An Industrial Design degree was my introduction to a world of technology and mass production. I was fascinated with the beauty of machinery and its precise operations, and decided to marry this fascination with my love for creating after the timely combination of a disastrous attempt on a pottery wheel, a suggestion to investigate slip-casting and an undisclosed cup fetish (there’s just something about a beautiful cup, right?!).
With a strong design focus and endless love for all things monochromatic, my work today is all about form, function and texture. Think crisp, clean, translucent walls that are incredibly delicate yet deceptively strong. Think refined, subtle textures that are played out in monochrome, or accentuated with considered use of minimal colour.
We all need something to marvel at. To appreciate. To enjoy. I hope I can help you add this elusive piece of magic to your life, every day.
The creation of an exquisitely crafted contemporary piece of porcelain is, to me, as beautiful as the end result.
Through years of experimentation, I’ve been able to fine-tune an advanced process that infuses traditional pottery techniques with digital technology – essentially connecting hand and machine to create a product that’s incredibly precise yet subtly unique to the next.
From initial sketches to final firing, every Sarah Backler piece is a labour of love. Original forms are explored in pencil and mocked in paper before they’re brought to life via machine. This step allows me to play with textures while mastering a level of accuracy that’d otherwise be impossible through traditional production. Once initial fragile cast forms are created, I gently work each piece by hand until it’s perfectly imperfect, before subjecting it to the heat of the kiln three times.
The first firing hardens the raw porcelain and allows for a swirling, spraying or dipping of glaze. The second and fiercest firing allows the thin walls to softly move, dance and warp in the heat, whilst transforming into a strong, vitrified piece of porcelain. The final firing gently binds the Sarah Backler mark.
Crisp ruled lines gracefully collide with soft hand-drawn circles. Seemingly delicate materials display unexpected levels of strength on the shelf, kitchen bench or against your body. Moments in time are captured forever, and given place and purpose in their owner’s life.
Like we, as humans, evolve over our lifetime, my designs grow in personality as they’re made. Each piece, and each set, subtly breaks the conformity of the whole as complexities arise in form and stature – some round pieces may be slightly more oval, some straight lines may be more curvaceous and some areas of glaze may be more luscious than others. Some differences are intentional, others by chance. It’s all about embracing the uncontrollable, because small variations in the kiln simply add to the final product’s story and character.
Every Sarah Backler piece is designed and made in a generous garden shed located beneath sunny skies in Tauranga, New Zealand.