red earthenware pottery
handmade for you by susan mchenry
Thanks for visiting my site! I live in Kalamazoo, MI, where I took my first ceramics class in 2002, shortly after moving here with my husband from my hometown in upstate New York. I have my own studio at our home where I'm surrounded by trees and a big open sky. Our dog Zuzu often keeps me company in the studio.
I'm continually inspired by both the strength and vulnerability of clay. How it requires both a force and gentleness of hand at various stages. With both my wheel-thrown and hand-built pieces, my goal is to create spontaneous and lively forms. I incorporate a variety of techniques, moving from the wheel to the table, and often altering forms by stretching, pushing, and cutting the clay. Once each piece begins to dry, I apply colored slips (liquid clay) in my designs. I am inspired by trees and flowers and it's these images I keep turning to when I sit down to decorate.
There is an energy and life force in an object that has been created by human hands. My primary interest in working with clay is to allow a sense of aliveness to show through. Each day in the studio, I strive to make the best pots I can. I try to approach each form without being overly fixed on the outcome, but rather allowing the clay to direct me.
On a practical note, I like to make durable, sturdy pots that can stand up to daily use. All my work is food safe, dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe.
Click here to read my essay about handmade objects.