After taking her first ceramics class in 2002, Susan felt a calling to the material, and over the years, responded to the desire to devote more space in her life for it. She enjoys the daily rhythms of her practice - making, decorating, and firing. In addition to working as a studio potter, she teaches at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts, where she took her first ceramics class so many years ago.
By utilizing a variety of wheel thrown and hand building techniques, Susan enjoys altering her red earthenware forms to create shapes that convey movement and softness. Scalloped edges and undulating rims invite the eye to travel across each piece. Thin white slip (liquid clay) serves as the background for her surface decoration, with layers of of colored slips added to create flowers and branches that wrap around the rims of bowls and feet of plates. At each step of the making process, she strives to make work that reflects a collaboration with the materials—allowing evidence of the process such as a brush mark, fingerprint, or drip to become an active part of the piece.
"I believe that pottery made by hand with thoughtfulness and care can elevate simple day-to-day moments we might otherwise take for granted, like sitting quietly with a cup of coffee or serving a meal to beloved friends. I hope it will serve as an invitation to slow down, to drop into the present moment more fully." - Susan McHenry, Kalamazoo MI