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Susan McHenry's Profile

About

UPDATE: I'M CLOSING MY ETSY STORE, DUE TO LACK OF SALES AND CUSTOMER TRAFFIC. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING ME AND MY WORK, PLEASE FIND ME ON FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/emptyvesselpottery, OR THROUGH MY WEBSITE: emptyvesselpottery.com. I HAVE A LINK TO MY ONLINE STORE ON MY SITE.

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I found my way into a life with clay quite by accident. Having formerly studied writing and poetry at the graduate level, and having worked professionally as a freelance writer, I thought I had found my calling. Then, after relocating to the Midwest from the East Coast, I decided to take a clay class at my community art center. What I thought would be a hobby quickly became a calling. I ventured to learn everything I could by taking classes and attending workshops, reading, looking at pots, and…

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  • Female
  • Joined February 15, 2012

Favorite materials

Red earthenware clay, colored slips, altered forms, functional pottery

About

UPDATE: I'M CLOSING MY ETSY STORE, DUE TO LACK OF SALES AND CUSTOMER TRAFFIC. IF YOU'RE INTERESTED IN FOLLOWING ME AND MY WORK, PLEASE FIND ME ON FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/emptyvesselpottery, OR THROUGH MY WEBSITE: emptyvesselpottery.com. I HAVE A LINK TO MY ONLINE STORE ON MY SITE.

*********************************************************

I found my way into a life with clay quite by accident. Having formerly studied writing and poetry at the graduate level, and having worked professionally as a freelance writer, I thought I had found my calling. Then, after relocating to the Midwest from the East Coast, I decided to take a clay class at my community art center. What I thought would be a hobby quickly became a calling. I ventured to learn everything I could by taking classes and attending workshops, reading, looking at pots, and asking lots of questions. I soon found a home in community with other potters. Eventually, I was hired to work as a tech assistant in the ceramics studio where I took my first ceramics class, and where I now teach.

I've been making pots for nearly a decade now, and it has been a life changing journey. I've started saying no to writing jobs to make more room in my life for clay. This year, I opened my own studio in the Park Trades Center in downtown Kalamazoo. I love being part of this vibrant arts community, and the new venue has brought renewed life and energy to my pots. With my new work, I'm bringing a sense of looseness and spontaneity to my wheel-thrown forms by stretching, pushing, and cutting the clay to create more organic forms. Once each piece begins to dry, I apply colored slips (liquid clay) with loose, uncontrolled brush strokes.

I’m continually inspired by both the strength and vulnerability of clay. My interest seems almost primal at times, connecting me with a history that dates back millions of years, to the very essence of the earth itself: the decomposition of rock. I’m intrigued how something so intensely fixed and hard can transform into something soft and malleable by the weathering of time and the touch of human hands. It’s this sense of strength and vulnerability I strive to bring forth in my work.

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