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The Clever Design Store

Sarah Backler

Ceramic Designer | Tauranga

Sarah Backler

"Life deserves to be savoured and enjoyed."

Creating and making are enduring and enjoyable facets to Sarah Backler’s life. Both led her into the manufacturing world as an Industrial Designer where machines and production lines created her specifications. This sparked her fascination with the hidden processes of machines and the beauty behind the finished product. Conversely, machine production removed Sarah from a process she loved, of creating outcomes with her hands. The concept to combine these two passions arose after the timely combination of a disastrous attempt on a pottery wheel, a suggestion to investigate slip-casting, spare time and an undisclosed cup fetish.

By infusing traditional slip-casting methods with digital technology Sarah found a way to combine her inclination for creating with vocational expertise, and in doing so developed a unique production process that blends hand with machine. Each piece is a labour of love from the first sketches to final firing. Initial forms are explored in pencil and mocked in paper before they are brought to life with digital technology. Machines are guided to create textures, details and a level of accuracy that would be impossible for hand production. Technology gives way to hands that gently manoeuvre and work fragile cast forms. Each piece is subjected to the heat of the kiln three times. The first firing hardens each piece so it can be swirled, sprayed or dipped with glaze. The second and fiercest firing provides an opportunity for the thin walls to softly move in response to the heat, whilst transforming their material into a strong, vitrified porcelain. The final firing binds the mark of the designer to her products.

The crispness of a ruled line is elegantly combined with the softness of a hand drawn circle in the objects created by Sarah Backler. Each form reflects its creation, a product of machine and hand, of precision and personality. Delicate textures wrap the clean forms, they respond to changes in contour and give depth to encasing glaze. The lightweight porcelain walls are inherently strong and delicately translucent.

Make everyday beautiful. Life deserves to be savoured and enjoyed. What we surround ourselves with adds to the experience. Products are meant to be used. Sarah Backler creates for these purposes by creating a range of products that can be used on a daily basis. Enrich the everyday.

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