Susan Kadish

The daughter of a hat designer and niece of a high fashion designer, my childhood was steeped in a keen sense for aesthetics. From an early age, I was encouraged by my father to explore and trust my own creative instincts. I chose to study fashion design myself, at FIT, but then realized my passion lay in pure sculpting of objects, creating sculptures of stone, clay and metal, rather than in working with fabric or even fashioning wearable art. I delved into alabaster and marble during the 1980's and 90's, training in both Italy and New York, and exhibiting this work in Manhattan and Miami.

Over time, I have turned my attention to clay, impressed with its malleability and the greater creative possibilities it affords. Drawn to East Asian techniques, I have challenged myself with such thousand-year-old pottery methods as hand-building and raku. I have worked with multiple firing, gunpowder and pit firing for different surface effects and properties. There is an allure to pairing ancient techniques with modern and experimental firing. One of my favorite techniques is saggar firing, which is when the unfinished clay piece is placed into a container with chemicals, minerals (like copper sulfate or salt), and sawdust, then fired in a kiln, creating truly unique colors, without glaze.

I have long been fascinated by the power and subtleties of Japanese and Korean ceramics and have developed my own New Yorker's take on the Buddha, and enjoy incorporating materials such as metal, horsehair, beads, leather and rope in my pots and vessels. I also experiment with various types of glazing, producing vivid hues and reflective metallic finishes.

I have taken my enthusiasm for creative experimentation to a new level in my current body of work, a unique and exciting process that employs the use of liquid silver. I have been developing the technique for eight years, and after hundreds of hours of trial and error, have perfected and patented the process. Each piece is jeweled with thousands of droplets of iridescent silver that shimmer like beads of morning dew on grass. In the firing process the droplets literally bubble through to the surface, dancing atop the under glaze, capturing and refracting the full spectrum of light.

For me, living in New York continues to inspire a sense of profound creative freedom. As an American, I enjoy offering an outsider's take on Eastern content. I embrace the learning process, showing respect for the techniques and cultures I represent, but am fully committed to my own artistic vision as well. Synthesizing input from the great ancient civilizations, I also find fulfilling fodder from being surrounded by so much extraordinary artistry in New York. I believe that these multi-faceted influences are like nutritious offerings that fuel my appetite, enabling me to explore my own art and find my voice, my center.


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