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Susan Beiner

American, b. 1962

Ride 'Em High

5.25 x 9.25 x 4.25 in.

Susan Beiner’s encrusted Ride ’Em High teapot is a transition piece between her 1990s Detroit-influenced teapots of steely grey, wholly smothered in slip-cast industrial fasteners including screws, nuts, and bolts, and the current vibrant organic encrustations for which she has become celebrated. For this piece, Beiner threw a teapot body on the wheel, added spout and lid, then attached an army of cast porcelain pieces. The steel cable seen in the handle and small flare-nut wrenches reflect influences from her time in Detroit. The seashells, doll arms, and color became part of Beiner’s work after 2000, when she moved to California. This pale pink teapot acquired its color from the flow of the kiln flames in a (gas) reduction firing.

Beiner was raised in New Jersey and received a BFA in ceramics in 1985 from Rutgers University. Afterward she became a special student at Arizona State University (ASU), Tempe, developing her portfolio for a 1993 MFA degree at the University of Michigan. After graduation she moved to Detroit and began concentrated studio work while teaching in several adjunct positions. From 2000 until 2005 she taught ceramics at California State University, San Bernardino, and since then has been full professor in ceramics at ASU. Beiner has exhibited nationally and internationally and has received numerous awards and residencies. Her ceramics have been described as “lush, intricate encrusted vessels and wall installations that draw the viewer into another world where the line between nature and that which is man-made is blurred.” Among the influences she cites are ornate eighteenth-century European porcelains and rococo silverware.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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