Susan Frost

I am an Adelaide ceramicist working from my studio based at the Jam Factory. My vessels and functional pieces are wheel thrown in porcelain and glazed in soft contemporary colours. I focus on form and function and my pieces are made to be used and enjoyed every day.

I first started using clay in 2005 when I enrolled in an evening class whilst living in Bristol, UK. It was a welcome change to the painting and drawing classes I normally took which were very serious and which I had found difficult trying to recreate the 3D object or person before me onto a flat surface. With clay, which is so wonderfully tactile and versatile I could stay in the 3D world. I wasn’t recreating an image, removed from its original source but creating a new entity; physically shaping it with my own hands into its own identity. The classes were more fun too. I would sit chatting to those around me just playing with the material, seeing what it could do. Before long we were introduced to wheel throwing and my unfolding affection for clay turned into love. With painting I had always felt self conscious and the work had seemed forced, but here I could lose myself for hours making pot after pot on my wheel. It was relaxing and enjoyable and I was happy with my first wonky creations.

Returning to Australia at the end of 2006, I made the decision to pursue ceramics further by reducing my working hours and taking part time classes at TAFE with Bruce Nuske. I watched with interest at Bruce’s attention to detail and quality of finish and under his direction my clunky pots became more refined. An opportunity to join a weekly workshop at JamFactory arose and I suddenly found myself under the keen eye of Kirsten Coelho, a ceramicist whose work I already greatly admired. I was also part of a group that included both emerging and established ceramicists and found this enormously important to the development of my own work. It was in this environment that I started making the jug and dish set which has become an enduring product for me, selling at shops and galleries throughout Australia. I ended up staying on at JamFactory and entered their two year Associate Program in 2009.

My two years as an associate were both challenging and deeply rewarding. I continued to develop skills in throwing, glazing, firing and refinement of my work. My second year began with me landing an exciting commission to develop work for the Crown Metropole Hotel in Melbourne and ended with a successful graduation show in the main gallery at Jamfactory. I have continued to stay on at Jam Factory as a tenant and work full-time from my studio developing my work further. I am still as excited about clay as I was in that evening class six years ago.

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