Suzanne Sidebottom

As an undergraduate I started working with clay primarily as a sculptural form. These clay works were Trompe l’oeil pieces, but they were also pop art. 

After graduation, I focused on art education, and the next 25 years were spent becoming more proficient at wheel-throwing and making functional ceramics. The functional pieces were exhibited in craft fairs and galleries (25 years at St. James Art Fair). The exception to this was a foray into hand-building, resulting in a series of over a hundred imaginary architectural and castle-like forms which were fun to build.

I went through a period of not producing any art, but I did produce a wonderful daughter, and did not pick up any clay again for a few years. I am now once again immersed in that wonderful squishy stuff I love to play with.

Earning a Surdna fellowship and attending the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts also helped renew my interest in clay. I have returned to my first love—hand-building, and Trompe l’oeil. I have switched from stoneware clay to porcelain and am incorporating printing and stamping techniques to enhance the mystery that is Trompe l’oeil. I’m excited every time I enter my studio, and can’t wait to see what the clay will transform into next.

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