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heights arts Blog

Susan Delahanty

I have been doing ceramics for well over 50 years. Although I was a painting major, I took ceramics, sculpture and dance while at Kirkland College in Clinton NY. I now paint and carve designs on clay rather than canvas or wood. I strive for glazes and designs to dance on my work. Due to arthritis, I use softer clay – which yields thicker pieces but allows me to deeply carve motifs, inspired by the nature surrounding our rural home and from our travels.

Each step in making ceramicware is fairly quick (I am an impatient person!) But those steps are numerous – preparing clay and glazes, throwing, decorating, glazing, etc. – so much time is spent on each piece.

Lately, I’ve been modifying wheel-thrown forms into sculptures. The flash of the wood fire and the melting of the ash give wonderful and unexpected results, well-suited to these pieces. But I have a long-standing love of functional ware – beauty to use and live with everyday. Your urge to touch (carefully!) is a compliment!

I’ve made pottery at studios in many of the places we’ve lived: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh PA; Salem and Lewisburg WV; Cuyahoga Falls and Richfield OH, and my Peninsula studio the past 12 years. I’ve taught Heritage Arts at Salem College; Pottery in Lewisburg and Richfield; Art at the Federal Women’s Prison in Alderson WV.

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