Sue Shaffer

Exploration and evolution has been the strength of Susan’s creative works since her beginning as a ceramic art student in high school.  The daughter of a painter and physicist, she inherited an out-of-the box perspectives at an early age.

Chicago-born, Susan attended high school near New York City, where she crossed paths with clay in an elective course.  It was love at first touch, and with college and her future before her, it was clear that art would be her calling. In 1973 she was accepted into one of the top schools in the field, Alfred University College of Ceramic Art in upstate New York, where she was exposed to a wide range of fine arts and mixed mediums., and where she could obtain the technical knowledge needed to produce, glaze, and fire stoneware pottery.

Susan’s life took a turn after college into other world experiences – including marriage and a move to Captiva, Florida in 1975.  It was here that her first independent studio was built, and her pottery sales supplemented her bread-and-butter employment in the business world.  Four years later she had island-hopped to Boca Grande, where Susan was hired by a local sculptor to set up a pottery studio and shop on the island.  Soon  roots were put down, a house was purchased and the birth of two children followed.

Clay work requires long sequences of time, hard to achieve when young ones are on board, so Susan turned to papermaking, creating wall-hung pieces, and experimenting with  photo image transfers.  This coincided with another birth, of an island organization now known as the Boca Grande Art Alliance.  As a founding member Susan served as a director and officer for many years, and she continues as an active Exhibiting Artist and Board Member today.

In 2001, with children grown,  a new studio was built, and Susan moved back into clay.  The view was different this time, though —exploring other mediums had left its mark, and her work today is evolving in a directions that often depart from the traditional, whether it is applying encaustic monotypes, paints and other mediums to the surfaces of her wheel-thrown clay vessels, or merging them with glass and other natural materials in her framed mixed media wall pieces. Most recently, the completion of a larger second studio at her Camden, Maine summer home has opened up even more new inspirations and opportunities.

Susan’s work is defined by a deep desire to find ways to evoke the viewer’s conscious and subliminal connections to the complexity of natural rhythms. She approaches her process in a fearless and even playful manner, often re-setting the rules and intriguing  the eye and the mind.