Ceramicist Sara Paloma has a sign hanging over her studio desk that reads, “It’s Not About Your Head.” It’s there to remind her to use all of her senses in everything that she does. Looking at her lean, graceful work inspired by nature, the sea and the clean lines of a modern city, one could say that she is successfully heeding her own advice. She throws, crafts and glazes each stoneware piece by hand in two studios that are part of her Emeryville, CA home. These spaces are cozy and warm and cluttered with work from the breadth of her career, whimsical illustrations, audio books and bits of inspiration. Both are lined with large windows that face her living room so that she can see what’s going on with her two young children and her two kilns that are tucked behind a bookcase.
After I came upon Sara while researching artisans commissioned by Restoration Hardware – she had been asked to create a stoneware collection just for them – I began to see her work everywhere. Photographers, including her husband Tom whose pictures are throughout this post, often use her pieces as decorative objects to dress up interior design photographs. Her other commissions have included work created for the great San Francisco store Gumps and Herman Miller.
Her process includes sketching and pondering and more sketching. She often takes off a half a day of every work week. “You will get more done the other 4-5 days. It took me 10 years in business to learn this,” she told the San Francisco Gate.
Pieces are made to order and collected by many. When I spoke with Sara several months ago, I found her to be everything one might hope an artist might be: kind, interesting, funny and incredibly humble regarding the power and importance and the impact of her work. For more information about Sara and to see more of her work please visit her website at: www.sarapaloma.com. Pieces are often made to order and may be purchased on Sara’s Etsy site.