by Artist (80)
Skip to Content
Showing 1 of 90

Susan Peterson


circa 1970's

10.25 x 5.125 x 5.125 in. (26.035 x 13.018 x 13.018 cm)
Gift of the artist

Susan Peterson’s Vessel exhibits the artist’s commitment to an expressionistic technique. Each stroke of glaze across the surface is gestural and painterly, treating the surface of the ceramic object as a canvas. Peterson does not attempt to mask the vessel’s origins on the potter’s wheel, the imprint from her hands as she shaped the object clearly visible along the upper body. Peterson remained deeply committed to the philosophies of the vessel tradition for the entirety of her career. While she experimented with scale, color, and surface decoration, she did not abandon the traditional means of production like many of her peers in the 1970s.

Beyond her artistic production, few studio potters can claim the influence that Susan Peterson has had upon the field of postwar American ceramics. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Mills College in 1946 while working with F. Carlton Ball. Later, receiving her Master of Fine Arts from Alfred University in 1950. As a teacher, Peterson was instrumental in southern California at the Chouinard Art Institute and later the University of Southern California, where she remained teaching for twenty-three years. Beyond teaching, Peterson’s legacy is in her efforts to disseminate ceramics to the general public and document its history. She was the host of the influential educational television program Wheels, Kilns, and Clay, which was first broadcast in 1964. Peterson understood the influence Japanese and Native American ceramics shaped the development of ceramics in the western U.S. and wrote several key texts on the subject including Shōji Hamada: A Potter's Way and Work (1974), The Living Tradition of María Martinez (1977), and Lucy M. Lewis: American Indian Potter (1984).

Matthew Limb

Exhibition List
This object was included in the following exhibitions:

Also found in
Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Unearthed | 1970s and 1980s".