Dunstan Sarah

Dunstan Sarah


I collect images, such as the shape of the railing in a hidden doorway in St.Ives, or writing on an antique glass bottle. I use my sketchbook to draw and paint these impressions but also as a scrapbook. Feathers, fabric and packaging are glued in next to photos. These photos are fragmented memories of places I’ve visited, a close-up detail of a Greek sign perhaps, or advertising on a French café wall.

I decorate a rolled out sheet of clay by using various techniques including painting and printing with coloured slips. The pieces are then put together using paper templates to create the final form, similar to the patterns that my mother used as a dressmaker when I was a child. I am fascinated by collections of objects, from the very small and personal – scent bottles, the mundane, sardine tins – to large architectural forms such as Gaudi buildings.

Some final pieces are purely ornamental while others tell a story.


  • Falmouth School of Art & Design BTEC Diploma: General Art and Design, Distinction, 1987-1989
  • Cardiff Institute of Higher Education B.A. (Hons) in 3D Design Ceramics,

Artist statement

First of all, images and ideas are collected in sketchbooks. Then, with the clay rolled out in front of me, I start to play. I might begin with a block of colour then introduce an area of decoration that moves across the surface breaking out of one area and travelling around what will become a three-dimensional piece. Like a painter, I work over the surface until it appears to be ‘right’. When the work is constructed I get a surprise, hopefully a good one, and the composition that felt right as a flat plane does something new when it becomes a vessel.