Ceramics artist Sarah Noël lives by the sea in an old farmhouse on the rural Gower peninsula, South Wales. Born and brought up in Mumbles, she studied a Foundation course in Swansea and Ceramics (BA Hons) at the University of the West of England, Bristol.
Sarah Noel is fascinated with medieval figurative wood and stone carvings. She admires their simplicity of form imbued with solemn spirituality, and their dynamic forms powerfully communicate a contemplative mood, a stillness, a knowing of ‘something other’. She finds the same beguiling qualities in European and American Folk art. Sketching is an intrinsic part of Sarah's working process, continually filling sketchbooks with Rotring pen and ink drawings of figures, buildings, boats, angels and ecclesiastical grotesques.
Sarah’s work springs from these influences. Her male and female figures and boat images are constructed out of clay cylinders and slabs to create stylized forms. Some pieces are finished by pouring over washes of oxides or coloured stains or slips, allowing the colours to run freely over the forms, adding to their mystery and spirituality. Sometimes she will then high earthenware-fire or smoke-fire the pieces.