POTTY TIME: Busy mum Sarah Sheppard in her pottery studio in Golden Beach.
POTTY TIME: Busy mum Sarah Sheppard in her pottery studio in Golden Beach. John Mccutcheon

Motherhood freed Sarah to pursue artistic passion

WHEN Sarah Sheppard was a schoolgirl in Brisbane, her bus used to stop outside a potter's house.

"I used to ask him if he could teach me and he kept saying, 'No' but eventually, he gave in," she said.

"I became his little assistant. I was just helping him and I loved it."

Sarah's family did not see art as a career, though.

She went on to study business at TAFE and run her own public relations and marketing business.

About nine years ago, she relocated to the Sunshine Coast.

A beach shack at Golden Beach caught her eye but she and her husband, Brandt, were in love with the area before they found the house.

"The thing I love about Golden Beach is that it's like a little town.

"You've got your own set of shops and it's a little community," she said.

"We'd take the dog down the beach and everyone says hello to you. It's like being on holidays all the time."

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Sarah worked with the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce and sat on the Caloundra Tourism Board.

But the arrival of Oliver, 5, and Zahra, 11 months, changed Sarah's world.

Looking for a more family-friendly pastime, she returned to ceramics.

"I just found that it was easier to work in the studio than having to do a different sort of job that would take me away from home and the children," she said.

Time in the studio comes at a premium.

"It's usually when my son is at kindy and the other one is asleep. It can be a struggle but it gives me a sense of achievement," she said.

Sarah has completed a commission for one restaurant and is working on a second for another.

And her busy business brain is looking at the future.

"I'd love to have a big studio and have some teams working there, but with kids, it's hard to network and stay connected.

"I think I will always be doing something and if I got back into the consultancy world, I'd love to do that, too."

Sarah will open The Beach Shack Studio at 18 Drake St to the public tomorrow and Sunday as part of the Australian Ceramics Association open studio weekend.

Visitors can decorate their own tile but must register their interest first on 5492 4921.