Each of my botanical pieces begins with a walk in the mountains and woods of Central Virginia where I gather my wild plant specimens. All of my pieces are wheel-thrown using a mid-temperature buff-colored stoneware clay body. I press plant specimens into the wet clay, and then pull the specimen off, leaving an accurate fossil impression which gives me a template for glazing.
Suzanne grew up in Wisconsin, in a family of bird-watchers and botanists. She received a degree in English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, then moved to Charlottesville to pursue a Master’s Degree in English at the University of Virginia. She met her husband, Matthew, while in graduate school. She spent 13 years teaching English as a Community College professor in various colleges in the Virginia system, but during that time, she was also taking pottery classes and apprenticing with Tom Clarkson. While still teaching full time, she and Matthew purchased an 1890’s house and barn in Earlysville, and renovated the barn into a pottery studio and gallery, which they named Mud Dauber Pottery after all of the mud-dauber wasp nests they had to clean out of the attic. Mud Dauber Pottery officially opened in 1997. By the year 2000, Suzanne could no longer keep up with demand for her pottery, so she quit teaching and settled into work as a full-time artisan. She has shown her work at many high-end juried arts festivals, is represented in galleries across the country, has her work featured in Arts and Crafts Homes magazine and The Artful Home, and is a member of the Association of Virginia Artisans. Suzanne works with a full-time assistant, Brenda Roberts, who is in charge of glazing, tile making, packing and shipping, book keeping, and everything else not involved with throwing pots.
Suzanne and Matthew live near the studio in Earlysville, with their son, Abe, and their two dogs, a black lab, Forest and a Havanese named Chloe. Matthew owns and runs Arterra Design and Construction, a design-build firm emphasizing energy efficient fine custom homes.