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Suzanne Hill

Artist, Dimensional Art | Read Artist Bio

Artist Bio:

Suzanne Hill has worked in clay for over 50 years. Her first exposure to ceramics came in the form of a course at the Rhode Island School of Design during her time as an undergraduate. This initial experience opened her eyes to the myriad creative possibilities inherent in the medium and seeded a deep appreciation for the particular rhythms and techniques of ceramics as a craft and practice. The romance of earth and fire led her to fall in love with clay, and never look back. After graduating with a major in Illustration from RISD, Hill further committed herself to the medium, and went on to earn a M.F.A. in Ceramics from the College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

Through the course of her career in clay, Hill has hewn closely to her conviction in the importance of arts education and mentorship. She has endeavored to pass along her love for clay, as well as her exacting attention to the techniques and formal elements of ceramics as a craft to be mastered. In one of the earlier chapters of this journey, Hill taught ceramic at Wells College and helped to build their ceramics program. More recently, she has joined the ceramics department of the University of Notre Dame, and enjoyed assisting undergraduates in undertaking projects that challenge their creative energies. In the intervening years, she has taught and practiced her art in many places including the Corcoran Museum School in Washington DC, as well as the Umbrella Center for the Arts in Concord, MA. Since the early aughts, Hill has actively maintained a studio at the Umbrella, and taught adult ceramics classes through their arts education program. 

Hill’s work is distinctive for her experimentation with and mastery of Saggar firing techniques. Additionally, the forms and colors of the vessels she produces take inspiration from lines and shades found in nature. Suzanne is particularly taken with the wild landscapes of the American South West as well as the New England Coastline. She has for many years incorporated found natural items (stones and branches) as decorative elements in her work. Her work is also informed by years spent living and traveling outside of the United States. Exposure to traditional ceramics and ceramicists—particularly in Mexico, Peru, and Bangladesh—has cemented her appreciation and reverence for the diversity and power of ceramic traditions. She has had the privilege of visiting and working with many indigenous artists, and has greatly valued the opportunity to observe and learn the practice and processes. These experiences have also taught her humility in the face of the long and rich history of ceramics across the world. 

Enhancing The Traditional, Introducing the Innovative