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Sara Swink

Biography to Display: 


2004-2005 Graduate Study, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, California

2002-2004 Post Baccalaureate Study, San Jose State University, San Jose, California

2001 BA Humanities, New College of California, San Francisco, California

2000 Study in Japan

1997-2002 Foothill College, UC Santa Cruz Extension, Santa Cruz, California


1977-2000 Massage Therapist

2000-2006 Graphic Designer

2000—Teacher, workshops: Creative Process Methodology

2006—Ceramic Artist


Sara Swink is known for hand-built small-scaled, colorful anthropomorphic stoneware animal figures. These sculptures are narrative in nature, with a folk art quality. Swink works with a gritty clay body to form the figures which are finished with surface treatments including incising, oxides, brushed underglazes, and glazes.

Swink grew up in San Francisco where she was influenced by the San Francisco Funk Movement thriving at the time. Her mentor and teacher Coeleen Kiebert was also a strong influence.


Bibliography to Display: 

Coldiron, Cynthia. Contemporary Wildlife Art. Atglen PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2015.

Coleman, Peter. “The Artistic Life of Sara Swink.”  Filmed 2005. YouTube video, 7:13. Posted [April 2007].

Drake, Carolyn Hazel. “The Stories Within.”  American Craft Magazine (December-January 2012).

Freeman-Zachary, Rice. “Sara Swink: Doll Artist Profile.” Art Doll Magazine (Autumn 2015).

 Irvine, Alex. Ceramic Sculpture: Making Faces: A Guide to Modeling the Head and Face with Clay. New York, NY: Lark Crafts, 2014.

Martin, Brigitte. Humor in Craft. Atglen PA: Schiffer Publishing Ltd., 2012.

Oregon Art Beat. “Ceramic Artist: Sara Swink.” Filmed [Oct. 2013]. Video, 7:38. Posted [Oct. 2013.]

Smith, Nan. 500 Figures in Clay, v.2. New York, NY: Lark Books, 2014.

Swink, Sara. “Making a Wally.” Filmed [Sept. 2017]. YouTube video 1:34. Posted [Sept. 2017 file://localhost/%5D. https/

Tietge, Bryan. “PDX Arts Journalism Sara Swink.”  Filmed [Oct. 2013]. YouTube video, 7:38. Posted [Oct. 2013].



Artist's Studio: Clay Circle Studio


Typical Marks

Last name in script, scratched through a layer of slip to reveal the color beneath.

Date: 2017
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Hand Built
Surface Technique: Glaze, Sgraffito, Underglaze
Photo: Harold Oxley
Photo: Harold Oxley
Photo: Harold Oxley

Citation: McGee, Donna. "The Marks Project." Last modified November 2, 2019.