Our first post on #5womenartists didn’t even begin to cover the tremendous volume of interesting and boundary-pushing work made by women, so we had to make another. This week we celebrate Susan Amann.
Susan Amann’s pottery is a mixture of hand built and wheel thrown pieces that transcend from functional forms to more sculptural works. She enjoys exploring raku, a 12th-century pottery-firing technique, in which fire and smoke are used in an 1800-degree raku kiln as a ceramic firing process. For Amann, raku provides the excitement of the unknown; “What will my piece look like when it comes out? Where will the flame dance upon my pot?” She is constantly experimenting with different raku techniques and describes the “hands on” process as “dramatic, risky, and very quick.” Amann’s production tends to be earthy and unpredictable. She couples her works with natural found objects and materials to compliment the characters of her pieces. There is an intimacy that develops as each piece evolves. Susan finds comfort in the challenge and idea “that what she loves doing and creating, will in turn take its place in someone’s life for them to enjoy, and thus, complete the circle.” Raku may trace its origins to creating the wares for Japanese tea ceremonies, but you certainly don’t need to hop on a plane to try it yourself. That’s because Amann’s pottery studio, Country Squire Pottery, in Somerville, NJ, can help you create the earthy tones and unique patterns that raku offers.
Image: Gathered Basket