Sarah Jewell Olsen

Artist Statement

I make utilitarian pots with a design aesthetic. The practical beauty of my work is intended to overpower the mundane, mass-produced objects, and enrich experiences. Through thoughtful craftsmanship, I intend to communicate the importance, permanence, and necessity of my pots. I use porcelain to throw and hand build shapes that are informed by facets of design, historical ornamentation, and Modernism.

These forms reflect my desire to replace the boring objects in our lives with objects that have meaning. Practical beauty is conveyed through the articulation of curves and edges that create the forms and adorn their surfaces. I am drawn to the dynamic form change that occurs when a graceful curve moves around a pot and into an edge. The additions of crisp linear compositions on the surface further convey a modern design aesthetic.


Originally from Anchorage, Alaska, Sarah Jewell Olsen is a Red Star Artist in Residence at Belger Crane Yard Studios in Kansas City, Missouri. She received her BFA in ceramics from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2009 and her MFA from West Virginia University in 2014. Olsen has work in the permanent collection at West Virginia University and has work on loan to Nelson Mullins Riley Law Firm in Huntington. Her exhibitions include national and international venues including the Hangzhuo Ceramic Exposition in Hangzhuo, China, Artist Image Resource in Pittsburgh, Pennyslvania, and Baltimore Clayworks in Baltimore, Maryland.