Susan was born in Cork, Ireland and completed a degree in design and applied arts in Co. Kilkenny, graduating with a first class honours degree before going on to complete post graduate studies in ceramics at Edinburgh College of Art in 2000. She won highly commended at the New Designers Awards in 2000 and has undertaken residencies at Edinburgh Zoo and more recently in Germany. Susan exhibits widely across the UK and Europe.
Our childhoods are filled with animal images, their many names, shapes, colours and patterns fuel our early imaginations. Throughout history animals have also been used in storytelling, legend and folklore to simplify the complexities of adult life. In the same manner, I use the animal form as a vehicle for the expression of human emotions.
I aim to give my animals a certain awkward vulnerability. This is achieved through a very personal making process. I make a wire framework on to which layers of printed and patterned pieces of porcelain paper clay are applied to form a skin. The natural twists and kinks of the wire frame and the shrinkage of the clay around it during firing are allowed to dictate the posture of the finished animal. The element of chance in these processes is central to my work.