December 16, 2014











This mixed media piece, Second Skin/Pulse and Tremble, just returned from a show Williamsburg, and now you can see it in the studio. There is more information about the piece in this earlier blog.

And here are more clay whistles:














The studio is open for visits today (Tuesday) and Thursday 11-6:00, so stop in to see what is up!

Make a Sound

December 14, 2014











More things to see at a studio visit: a group of clay whistles of different pitches (reasonably priced!). They double as small hand-sized sculptures. Stop in Tuesday or Thursday 11-6:00, or contact me for a better time!

Events at Quirk

March 15, 2011

The Ways I See It  • Sarah Masters

March 3 – 26












Saturday, March 19, 10:30 – 12:30

Coffee in the gallery

Saturday, March 26, 2:00 PM

Closing day artist’s talk

Please join us for these upcoming events!

Regular hours: M – F 10-6, Sat. 11-4, or by appointment

The Ne(we)st

March 1, 2011

This is the newest drawing from my studio.  It is also the oldest.  I began working on this image about eleven years ago and have worked on it on and off over the years with long spans (years!) in between. Twice before I tried to finish it for shows but was unable to make the image come together as a whole. Recently, I decided to give it one last go before permanently retiring it, and it seems the time was right.  The drawing is now hanging at Quirk, waiting to be seen at the opening this Thursday night.  It is the largest piece in the show, over one hundred times larger than the smallest pieces which are tiny collages like this one:

Clearly there is a range of work in the show, so stop by and see how it all fits together!


February 26, 2011












The show at Quirk will open next Thursday, March 3 with a preview reception 5:00-7:00.  The First Friday reception will be March 4, 7:00-10:00.  Please stop in if you can!  The show will include mixed media sculpture, assemblage, and collage as well as drawings and clay work.  It will be up through March 26.  See more details below.



February 10, 2011

At the end of last year I took a clay class at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond to learn more about the possibilities that clay has to offer.  In one class we learned how to make clay whistles, and I immediately became enchanted by them.  The shape reminded me of pods, spores, and organelles, and I pulled out my old botany book for inspiration.  I love the way these feel in my hand as I shape and carve them and the way each develops into its own particular form.  But most of all, I love that these little sculptural objects have a secret life: they make a sound, a beautiful note – hollow like the hoot of an owl.  It is really silly how much I enjoy working with these little chunks of clay (an addiction really),  but I see no reason to pass up delight!

I expect to have a small bunch of these in the March show at Quirk, so come by and take a look.


October 5, 2010

Clay Practice

This morning when I was out for a run, my mind wandered to a puzzling observation:  why do we speak of yoga practice, meditation practice, spiritual practice, or writing practice, but not art practice, painting practice, or drawing practice.  The word practice – noun or verb – inherently suggests an ongoing process of learning, growing, and questioning.  Making art is certainly that.

The notion of a drawing practice is a useful one to offer to students.  So often the adult students who come to my drawing classes are shy about their creative skills and seem to carry unconscious assumptions about what they “should” be able to accomplish… even as beginners.  I’ll share this idea of practice with my class tomorrow along with my belief that curiosity is an essential part of a drawing practice; it is the thing that breathes life into the work.  Now, if I can only remember this on Friday when I am a student in a clay class.

The opening for the current show at Rivermont Studio in Lynchburg will be held tomorrow evening, February 12 at 6:00.  All are welcome!  I am showing new three-dimensional work – mixed media sculpture and assemblages – that I have been writing about here.  Here are some of the pieces in the show: Air and Light, Lost Bearings, Shelter It won’t float, but you’ll be safe,  Everyday Miracle: Attachment, Homage to Lenore Tawney, Oryoki,  and Hundreds of Ways.

This piece, called Germinal, is also in the show.  I have included its various parts in earlier posts including the Weber grill firing of the clay parts.  The base is cast glass, and the stand is a found hand loom.  Other  materials include wire, fabric, thread, seed silk, and fiberglass.

This is my statement for the show:


The work in this show has provided an opportunity for me to explore some three- dimensional ideas that have been germinating, in one form or another, in my mind and my sketchbook for years.  It is a shift from my usual format of two-dimensional drawing and painting but also a logical extension of that work.

These pieces have arisen through my interest in the materials and in the process.   Making this work has involved not only the very practical aspect of engineering and assembling but also an approach of working intuitively and allowing both object and meaning to evolve. The process of combining and juxtaposing materials and parts has yielded many surprises in all aspects of the work.  These pieces are experiments in using new materials, new techniques (including clay building and glass casting and fusing), and new images.  Although the intent and meaning varies from piece to piece, all are linked by certain threads including:  a deep love of the natural world, a fascination with the subtle connections existing in the world around us, an interest in the power of metaphor, and a belief that beauty matters.

The artists who have influenced and inspired this work are many.  A few to note in particular are Lenore Tawney, Martin Puryear, Patrick Doherty, Andy Goldsworthy, Joseph Cornell, Eva Hesse, Christopher Wilmarth, Hannelore Baron, and, of course, my friend and teacher John Morgan.


February 4, 2010

Lest we think we are in control, the weather will often remind us that we are decidedly NOT!  It seems that quite a bit of snow will fall in Lynchburg, VA on Friday, February 5.  The opening scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed until Friday, February 12, 6:00 – 8:00, and the artists’ talks will be at 11:00 a.m. on February 13.  Come if you can!

Happy New Year

January 11, 2010

Happy New Year!  A bit late, yes.  Computer and photography time have been trumped by studio time (YES!!!!!!!!!) – a good thing for my work but not for the blog.

My first post-Christmas project was a second Weber grill firing.  This time I decided to fire with an open grill to allow for oxidation to occur in the process.  The first firing was done entirely with the grill covered which created a reductive atmosphere and a black and grey surface on the clay.  For this second firing I sprinkled in Miracle Gro and rock salt to encourage color variation on the clay.  In addition to the primary fuel of sawdust I added straw and pine tags, and on top of the sawdust mound I piled scrap wood and dead tree branches.  The blaze was lovely on a cold December night.  There was, perhaps, too much blaze, too fast.  The effects on the clay were lovely, but a very high percentage of the pieces came out of the firing broken.  So, more research and experimentation coming up soon!  Here are a couple of samples from the Christmas firing:

Stay tuned for images of new work coming later this week!