Susan Miller Ceramics


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    During a year abroad in college, I found myself in a ceramic studio and instantly fell in love with putting my hands into this amazing material. I have come back to this medium over and over again, following training in sculpture and architecture. I love that I can create work that can be used by others, that I continue to find inspiration and invigoration in the process of refining work and discovering new ways of expressing myself.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I create both hand built and wheel thrown work, functional and sculptural. The forms reflect a love of sculpture and architecture. I layer glazes to develop a rich palette, using patterns on dinner and service ware and producing a depth of color on sculptural forms. The sculptural pieces are constructed by stacking and repeating a series of similar forms. The work is high fired in a reduction atmosphere, which brings surprises each time the work comes out of the kiln.

    A: When I am in the studio, hands in clay, I am engaged in a continual conversation. There is a pairing of the physical with the visual, the emotional with the intellect that is nourishing and encourages continuous growth. Working with clay is part of a centuries old tradition. The work that I create with my hands makes it into the hands of another. Clay is, at one and the same time, a humble and glorious material, capable of being formed magically, and transformed through the process of firing.

    A: My work falls both inside and outside of the ceramic tradition. I use traditional techniques and materials and am inspired by sources outside of traditional ceramics; landscape, architectonic forms, and sculpture. While each piece has an integrity of its own, I enjoy playing with groupings of pieces to tell visual stories that evoke a sense of place and relationship, echoing both ancient and modern forms.

    A: I am continually amazed by the way that clay, as a plastic material, can form itself and be transformed. I am amazed at the way the most minute changes in the position of one's hand can inflect change upon the material and how, no matter how long I have been working with this material, I always have room to grow and develop. I still don't know whether and when the clay is speaking to me, or when I am speaking to it: I do know that it always feels like magic.

    A: I have had many generous teachers and I am influenced by a range of cultural sources. Architecture and sculpture impact the scope and process of my work. I unabashedly embrace my love of certain artists (Brancusi, Giacometti, Morandi). On a more personal level, I have come to realize the impact of watching my mother work in her painting studio at home, creating a space of her own that seemed to take her into another place in time, a space of energy, creativity, depth and personal expression.

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