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Nancy Susaneck

Guardian of all Nations.jpg
Guardian of All Nations
Gathering the Flock.jpg
Gathering the Flock

Nancy Michael-Susaneck

Artist Statement



        I have brought together three passions; Clay, Beadwork and Assemblage Art.

Throughout my journey to bring the three techniques together my work has grown and changed throughout the years. However I find that one thing holds true, stories evolve with each piece throughout the process.

        Found object and recycled art has been an ongoing interest and passion for years. Finding new purposes for items that were once discarded or just needing some new glory, stretches the way we think of an objects purpose and looking at it in a new light keeps ones imagination alive.

        I have been doing beadwork for as long as I can remember. The joy it brought me led me to open a retail bead store in 1996. I had beads from all over the world, designed ready to purchase hand crafted jewelry, assisted with design decisions, taught a full variety of beadwork classes and loved every aspect of the business. I was very happy, or so I thought...

        In 2000 I enrolled in an evening pottery class to have a night doing something I wouldn't have normally done. A night to be with other women, away from business and family responsibilities. The class focused on the potters wheel. This class continued for 5 years, one evening a week.

        Through this weekly class I took a Hand-Building workshop. It was a workshop in all types of hand building; slab construction, coil work and pinch pot techniques.

         This one workshop turned my world upside down.

My world as I knew it was about to change dramatically. I closed my business.... and set out to see where this clay would take me.

         The quest began, not wanting to give up any of the three (clay, beadwork or assemblage) I focused on bringing them together, and, thus is the body of my work. I use all hand-building techniques to create my figures. Assemblage is achieved with found object, recycled items, embossed metals, bead weaving techniques, beads from all corners of the planet, fiber and wire.

         While my early work consisted of boxes, jars and vessels my work today is primarily figurative. I have grown to love my "Tribe of One," as I call them. They are a combination of many cultures and ethnicities, brought together as one. My multi-racial grandchildren are a great inspiration for me.

        My women are all constructed by hand. Each face is done using two small pinch bowls joined together forming the head. I then manipulate the air inside to achieve the basic shape, then as each is sculpted they develop their individuality. Bodies are made with slab construction and coiling techniques. I use a stoneware cone 5 clay, cone 5/6 glazes, under-glazes and oxides. My pieces are fired in an electric kiln.

        After all the clay work, glazing and firing is complete I begin the final step of dressing the figures.

        I make hair wefts using horse hair, use hand embossed metals, found and repurposed objects, fiber, beads from all corners of the planet, feathers, wire and anything that I think will work with the particular piece in front of me.

       My work brings me great joy and a feeling of hope. It is a never-ending journey.

        I hope that you enjoy the journey along with me

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