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Susan Harris

American, b. 1945

Tripod Ding with Bufonidae

13.25 x 8 x 8 in.
Gift of the Nora Eccles Treadwell Foundation

Susan Harris has long had a fascination with artifacts from the past, most notably ancient Asian and Etruscan bronze ritual vessels. She typically uses an iron-bearing clay, which she embellishes with impressed designs and populates with small creatures such as frogs, snails, and scorpions. Since the early 1990s her surfaces have become much more textural, embellished, and embossed. She has been refining her ideas, experimenting with firings and textures, for the last thirty years. Harris typically treats her unglazed ritual containers with mineral composite washes, resulting in color gradations heightened through a reduction-cooled process, as seen in Tripod Ding, whose skin looks like wrought iron. While Harris is well known for her fine-art ceramics, she continues to make exceptional functional pottery as well.

Now retired, Susan Harris was a professor of art and design at Southern Utah University, where, since 1996, she taught ceramics and sculpture. She received a BA in anthropology from the University of Illinois, and an MFA in ceramics from Utah State University. In 1990, she taught for a year at the Kansas City Art Institute with Ken Ferguson (see Ferguson’s Bottle) and for a year at USU with John Neely.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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