Susan McDonald

Artist Statement

I live in Frankford, Ontario, where I have my studio and work in clay in a lovely rural setting (just north of Trenton). Prior to Frankford, my studio was located in Port Hope for many years.

I am basically self-taught — following an introduction to pottery by Edwin Longueville of Green Heron Clay, which has been augmented with short courses and workshops with the American Potters Council, Fusion, and the National Council on Education in the Ceramic Arts. I have been working in clay full-time for the past fifteen years, and have taught ceramics at the Visual Arts Centre, Bowmanville, Durham College, Oshawa, and continue to teach at my studio. .

Before I began my work in clay, I worked on paper with watercolor and ink. The inks were/are used to create very fine detailed pieces that reflected my spiritual and historical leanings. The watercolors were/are used much like oil to create vibrant textured work. This background influences my approach to the ceramic three-dimensional form — with techniques that reflect fascination with surface, form and space – creating bold functional art for everyday use. My primary focus has been the teapot, as this form provides me with a free hand for surface exploration while retaining its primary function, but that is changing over time as well. My work is a continual exploration in the techniques and finishes of ceramics – whether that be wood-fired, gas fired, raku fired, or completed completely in an electric kiln.

My work been included in the “By Hand” show and the ““One of a Kind Show” in Toronto, the “Big Fish, Small Teapot” International Competition, San Francisco, and another teapot was shown in the “Global Positioning/ China,” show at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute, Jingdezhen, China, and has become part of a permanent collection there. I won a Fusion Design Award for my installation “Teapot Meditation, 108 Teapots,” and a section of this installation was used in the Pottery Supply House 50th Year Anniversary Calendar. My work was also accepted for the Distill Cup in, Distill Gallery, Toronto, and work has been shown in England, at the Where I Fell In Love Gallery, Shipston-on-Stour, Warwickshire, England. A piece “Punch Drunk” was also taken into the permanent collection of the MacDonald Stewart Art Centre in Guelph.

My work on paper has been featured at the Northumberland Gallery, Cobourg, the Colborne Art Gallery, Colborne, The Visual Arts Centre, Bowmanville, the Kohl Gallery, Toronto, the Lindsey Art Gallery, Lindsey, and venues at York University.

You will find my work in purveyors of fine craft, galleries, studio tours, and shows throughout Ontario.





Click for printable CV.