Susy’s experience with clay has its roots in traditional pottery. Since the early 1990’s, her inspirations have come from a variety of sources: Italian sgraffito work, as well as Germanic and English earthenware. Her designs have been influenced largely by Northern European pottery from the 1500s to the 1800s, and consequently, the Pennsylvania Dutch redware.
With her discovery of the Brown County Pottery in 1998, (also influenced by these historic predecessors) Susy’s current work is an interpretation and evolution of these styles.
The Brown County Pottery, originated in the 1930’s and was made during the great depression. Using the red clay, dug from local property, the pottery was created in Nashville, Indiana for the tourist trade, and was carried by several department stores in Indianapolis and Chicago, such as Marshall Fields. The pottery remained active until the 1950’s, and the pieces are quite sought after. These often, somewhat rustic “antiques”, are both rare and expensive.
Susy’s work shares the same method of sgraffito. (Cutting through a cream colored slip to expose the red clay beneath) The decorations are then hand painted onto motifs such as: cornflowers, acorns, tulips, Black Eyed Susans, blueberries, persimmons, birds, deer etc.
Her Brown County Redware pieces are made to be used as decoration as well as utilitarian. They are lead free, oven, microwave, and dishwasher safe.