I’m Sarah, founder of Sarah Kersten Studio. I work in Oakland, California, where the combination of a rich and robust pottery tradition and the inspiration of coastal California combine to inform the nature of my work.
Much of my aesthetic has grown out of the natural tendencies of the materials that I work with. I love high fired stoneware for the beauty of its features— which are always muted and subtle in hue— and for its strength. These traits, together with a passion for seasonal cooking, a great love of being and making at home, and a deep respect for pottery tradition, make my work what it is. When so much of the world is plasticized and high-tech, it’s pottery’s ancient heritage that grounds me, along with my commitment to showing up day after day to move my work forward. After years of creating alone, I now work with a very small team to make the work in my shop.
I aspire to create pieces that are sculpturally beautiful, effortlessly functional, and of heirloom quality. All of my designs respond to real needs, needs I’ve had in my own kitchen, or wishes I’ve heard from friends and chefs I’ve worked with. I work slowly, considering shape, size, and the overall feeling of a piece for as long as it takes to get it just right— sometimes years. But I like it that way. I make objects that will live intimately with you and yours, that you’ll handle multiple times a day, and I take that honor seriously, and joyfully. For me, pottery and its history is part of who we are as a people and a deeply meaningful way to spend my days, as is the knowledge that my work goes towards making people’s homes more beautiful, functional places to live, love and cook.