Suzanne Crane - Two Sparrows Cup 2.jpg

“My new sumi-e series combines three elements: my botanical work; modern, streamlined forms; and clay “sketches” of birds inspired by Japanese and Chinese sumi-e ink-brush paintings.

My previous work was identifiably “Arts and Crafts” inspired, and this work still has some of those elements, but here, the birds are disruptive—clearly sculptural—elements, full of attitude, and not “of the pot” but “visiting the pot.” 

I strive for an elegiac quality in my pieces. They are pottery, after all—that most ancient of materials, often used for interment. But they are also fossilized records of the flora of our time, made abstractly beautiful by being pressed flat, glazed, and made permanent. And the birds, even though they, too, are frozen in clay, seem to simply alight for a quick glance, a temporary perch, a small conversation.

My work is wheel-thrown stoneware with porcelain slip. The hand-sculpted elements are stoneware covered with a red iron oxide wash. I use real botanical specimens to achieve a fossil-like impression in the clay, which I then use as a template for glazing. I use a variety of translucent celadon glazes, both my own recipes and commercial, and fire to cone 6 and 7 in oxidation, depending on the clay body I’m using.”

Studio number 6


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