Susan Nowogrodzki

 

I studied Fine Arts at the University of Oregon in Eugene, receiving a BFA in Painting and a MFA in Ceramics. The program was very environmentally conscious, instilling in students a respect for the earth and the materials we used. I studied Asian art and culture, and feel especially connected to the aesthetics of Korea and Japan. So I was thrilled to be invited to Gangjin, Korea for the Celedon Festival, and to have one of my platters in the Gangjin Celedon Museum. I’ve taught Ceramics at the College of Saint Rose, Hudson Valley Community College, and many other education and art centers. I’ve also been commissioned to create tile murals for banks, community centers and schools.

 

The natural world inspires my designs and forms. I’m interested in how surface design meets itself on the other side, how the image rhymes with the shape. Color and pattern are meant draw the eye around the whole piece, even underneath, so the movement used to create it continues even after the work has been fired. Employing handbuilding techniques as well as throwing on the wheel, I use stoneware and porcelain clays and decorate with incising, engobes, underglazes and lustres. After colorful images are painted on the surface, the ceramic forms are glazed and fired using a variety of methods: electric oxidation, high-fire gas reduction, wood-firing, or raku.

 

Science and art have always mingling in my mind. Rather than a dichotomy, they are different approaches to similar problems. Both involve experimentation, a knowledge of chemistry and physics, and the ability to stay with a problem until a solution is found. Inspiration as well as skill is required for great scientific discovery, as for the creation of a work of art. The process must be meticulous for the product to be authentic.

 

I try to make better pots every time I enter my studio, to integrate the material with the content of the piece. 

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By Woods Hole Handworks

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