Artist Statement/Bio              Teaching Philosophy              Professional Highlights              Education & Professional Experience              Professional Memberships

 

Susan Fox Hirschmann grew up in Wildwood, New Jersey, two blocks from the beach and the ocean. She spent her childhood painting and drawing and creating sand castles by the ocean, against the backdrop of sand dunes and sea grasses.

She studied at American University in Washington, DC on a full university scholarship, receiving a B.A. in European History with a minor in Art History. Post graduate work in art and interior design at Northern Virginia community College followed. Soon thereafter she discovered clay and found a new excitement! Susan studied ceramics, sculpture, and fiber art at the Corcoran School of Art, also in the DC metro area. Many workshops followed, under Mick Casson, Don Reitz, Pete Pennell, Lynn Sures, Vince Pitelka and many others.

Nature, particularly the sea, has inspired her “Sea Vessels” created in fine porcelain. The peacefulness of being by the ocean is evidenced in these pieces. Many of the designs and colors are derived from her own environment--the Potomac River, the marshes and sea grasses, and travels to anywhere there is an ocean. Moreover, the flowers from her garden and the nearby Shenandoah Mountains influence her work. The textures of natural reeds from SE Asia, the vines and bamboo she gathers during walks in the nearby woods, and her own handmade paper add texture to the hard and shiny surfaces of fired clay. The addition of sculptural paper to several of the pieces simulates the majesty of ocean waves.

Images of family and friends are carved in many of her pieces, as a tribute to their love and kindness. The group of pieces, she calls “Circle of friends” captures their individuality, their gestures, and is a celebration of all people who touch each of us in our lives.

Susan’s pottery has been energized by her painting and interior design background. Color and texture are also an important part of her work. She has been a ceramic artist and potter, as well as pottery teacher, in Annandale, VA for over 32 years, designing for homes and offices, and creating custom pieces for wonderful customers and galleries worldwide.

Susan, a ceramic artist, begins with a ball of clay on a potter’s wheel. She loves the physicality of working in clay, as well as the yoga-like tranquility. With great attention to detail, most of the work is hand carved. Each piece, created from the finest porcelain or stoneware, is airbrushed with many different glazes and stains and twice fired in her kilns. Thereafter, she dyes the reeds with natural stains, and sculpts her own handmade paper, from cotton and linen beaten pulp, to embellishing many of the pieces.

Susan is from three generations of tailors and feels that her innate love of fiber art is genetic. The fiber additions just seem like a natural compliment to clay and bring the work into a new dimension, with a certain ethereal quality. Often she will use recycled hand painted silk, from artist friends, to add to the pieces, in her porcelain and handmade paper pieces.

She has received numerous awards and her work is in collections worldwide. Susan is a published author of several essays which have appeared in The Crafts Report, and been a featured artist in numerous publications, including the Washington Post, Buyers’ Guide, Atlantic City Press, Fairfax Journal, and the Fairfax Times. Her art pottery was selected for Lark books, “500 Basket.” She created a custom porcelain ornament that was chosen for President Bill Clinton’s White House Christmas tree in 1992, and is now in the White House collection.

Custom designs and installations are also an important part of her work.

Lately, Susan has enjoyed teaching adults and children in a variety of creative pottery classes, both small groups and private lessons. It is rewarding to her to share the magic of working in clay with others.

Susan best describes her work: “I make groups of pots. Like groups of friends, each member is unique, yet has a commonality and a bond that ties one to another. Each time spent with a pot, more is revealed, subtleties are uncovered, and a relationship develops. Then the circle is complete, from maker to user, as clay brings new relationships to my life.” She continues, “May my creative joy give you a lifetime of pleasure and make your heart sing!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

©2010 Susan Fox Hirschmann   All Rights Reserved                                           Site by Tony Ferguson