Written by Arielle M. Myers
Out of a large communal studio and ceramics school in Brooklyn, Sarah Ritz creates functional ceramic pieces glazed in gentle colors. While the name of her company and of many of her pieces reflect her German studies, Sarah’s work is inspired by American landscapes. Having lived in a variety of diverse places– Florida, Germany, New York City, and the open road while cycling cross-country with the charity Bike and Build– she draws inspiration from the pull between solitude and community that she has experienced in her travels.
“I was born and raised on the southwest coast of Florida at a time when my town could still be called small. I grew up right near a big beautiful river, the Gulf of Mexico, and swampland. As a kid I was outside everyday, running around barefoot building forts, catching tadpoles and swimming in my friend’s pools. When I saw the western half of the US for the first time, it changed me. The desert feels incredibly old and spiritual. The Rocky Mountains made my cry from pain and beauty. The redwood forests were peaceful and wise. We were biking through the most beautiful places I’d ever seen in my life. I wasn’t looking at it through a car window- I was in it! Everyday felt like I was on another planet. I draw almost ninety percent of my inspiration from my travels that summer. I haven’t been out west since, but the memories are still so fresh and vibrant in my mind. Arches National Park is the most breathtaking place on Earth.”
This awe and appreciation of the natural world, coupled with finding true friends through working with others who are reaching for a common goal, is what has led Sarah to become a maker. Freundeskreis means “circle of friends,” in German. A reference to the collaborative effort of ceramics community that Sarah experienced in college when she was first learning her craft. This community effort extends to what she believes customers value most about her work.
“I really love making planters. I think of them like half finished sculptures, waiting for a plant to make them complete. I consider it to be a collaborative effort between me and the person who has the planter- they fill it with dirt and then the plant of their choice. Hopefully the plant does well and grows strong and the piece continues to bring life and beauty to a space.”
At Young & Able, we also seek to encourage this sense of community between our designers and their customers, which is why we’re so excited to introduce Freundeskreis Ceramics.
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