Artist Biography

Susan was  born and raised in Colorado.  At the age of six her family moved to Broomfield, a suburb of Denver.  She was a tom boy and brought home her share of frogs and snakes for keeping the in fish tank downstairs.  The family “pets” included dogs, cats, tropical fish, hamsters, a green parakeet, a ring-neck pheasant, and guinea pigs.   

Her memories of home include the annual summer camping trips to the Rocky Mountains near Steamboat Springs.  The four children were packed in the car, along with the canvas tent handed down from Grandfather to Father, ice chest, fishing poles, and all the assorted accessories deemed necessary for a week in the mountains.  The roads in this remote part of the Rocky Mountains were dirt logging roads, the campsite was the single tent in the middle of a meadow, and they hardly ever saw another fisherman during the days spent fly fishing the local streams and rivers.  The forest was a mix of conifers and aspen. The streams were clear, cold and bordered with willow.  The fishing challenge was not losing the hand-tied flies in those willows.

Susan attended Colorado State University, graduating with a B.S. in Zoology, though every free class period was filled with an art class, usually drawing.  While attending CSU she met and married her husband, Stephen.  After graduation Stephen’s degree in Electronic Engineering landed him his first job in King City, CA.  A year later they moved to Salinas, CA.  After several years in Salinas, they moved to the rural setting, near Moss Landing, where they are still located.  Their two boys grew up in the country and learned to take care of the various animals Susan has had over the years. 

Through all these years Susan was always doing some art project or another.  She did the usual macramé plant hangers, quilting, spinning and weaving.  She joined the Carmel Crafts Guild.  Her hand spun yarns and weavings won many first place ribbon and several Best in Show Awards at the Monterey County Fair, and the Conference of Northern California Handweavers.  She was a founding member of the Aromas Hills Artisans.  Susan continued going to school.  In addition to taking art classes, she studied computer programming, court reporting, and machining.  While employed as a machinist Susan attended a company wide self development seminar.  To answer the challenge of describing yourself to your boss in a single sentence, Susan said, “I am a maker.”  This eye opening sentence, this formal acknowledgement of being a maker opened the door to Susan’s future as a producing artist.

In 1997 she enrolled in her first water color painting class.  The medium of water color paved the way to her fluid sense of design.  The instructor’s method of using four colors; red, yellow, blue, and white to mix all colors with, paved the way to Susan’s current understanding of color. 

In 1997 Susan took a polymer clay class learning how to make buttons to embellish her weavings with.  With polymer clay she found the material which would open the door to becoming a selling artist.  Polymer clay allowed her to play with color, pattern, and repeat.  For several years she sold her small sculptural pieces, and wall embellishments at regional Art and Wine Festivals.  

December of 2001, Susan’s son Chris taught her how to sand carve glass, introducing her to the medium of glass.

December of 2003, Susan received a glass fusing kiln, and started fusing and slumping glass.

Workshops:

June, 2004, “The Glass Sketch”, Bullseye Connection, Portland, OR

May, 2005, “It’s All about Image – Creating Imagery in Kiln Formed Glass”, Avery Anderson, Veneta, OR

May, 2007, “Powders: Colour, Components, and Crackle!”, Robert Leatherbarrow, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

October, 2008, “Glass Painting for the Artist”, Kenneth Leap & Kathy Jordan, Wheaton Arts and Cultural Center, Millville, NJ

Gallery Exhibits:

May, 2003, “Images Etched on Glass”, Seminar Gallery, Hartnell College, Salinas, CA

November, 2003, “On and Off the Wall”, Santa Cruz Mountains Art Center, Ben Lomond, CA

February, 2004, “Expressions! Vintage 2004”, Tracy Community Center, Tracy, CA

April, 2004, “Light Dancing - Glass & Light Explorations”, Seminar Gallery, Hartnell College, Salinas, CA

February, 2005, “Expressions!”, Tracy Community Center, Tracy, CA

May, 2006, “Lucent Fusion”, & Everything Nice, Salinas, CA

July, 2006, “Deep Sea Dancers”, The Golden Fish, Salinas, CA

September, 2006, “Bright Arbor”, Rooms in Bloom, Salinas, CA