Nancy Michael Susaneck
I have brought together three passions; Clay, Bead work and Assemblage Art. Throughout my journey to bring the three techniques together my work has grown and changed throughout the years. However I find that one thing holds true, stories evolve with each piece throughout the process.
Found object and recycled art has been an ongoing interest and passion for years. Finding new purposes for items that were once discarded or just needing some new glory, stretches the way we think of an objects purpose and looking at it in a new light keeps ones imagination alive. Beadwork has also been an interest and has been part of my work for many years.
Clay entered my life quite by accident. It gave me yet another medium to love.
The quest began, not wanting to give up any of the three (clay, bead work or assemblage) I focused on bringing them together, and, thus is the body of my work. I use all hand-building techniques to create my figures. Assemblage is achieved with found object, recycled items, embossed metals, bead weaving techniques, beads from all corners of the planet, fiber and wire.
While my early work consisted of boxes, jars and vessels my work today is primarily figurative. I have grown to love my Tribe of One, as I call them. They are a combination of many cultures and ethnicities, brought together as one. My multi-racial grandchildren are a great inspiration for me. My women are all constructed by hand. Each face is made using hollow form techniques, then as each is sculpted they develop their individuality. Bodies are made with slab construction and coiling techniques. I use a stoneware cone 5 clay, cone 5/6 glazes, under-glazes and oxides. My pieces are fired in an electric kiln.
I begin the final step of dressing the figures, constructing hair wefts using horse hair, hand embossed metals, found and re-purposed objects, fiber, beads from all corners of the planet, feathers, wire and anything that I think will enhance the story of the piece. My work brings me great joy and a feeling of hope. It is a never-ending journey.
Nancy was born and raised in New York City and later in Westchester County, New York. Since she was able to hold a crayon Art has always played an important part in her life and a constant means to express herself. Though for the most part the crayons are gone, other mediums have taken over.
After majoring in Art in High School she moved to the magical city Paris. There she attended Le Ecole des Beaux Arts. Painting and drawing were her interest. After various career moves, marriage, raising her children and having a retail Bead Store all avenues lead back to the Arts.
Bringing together Bead work, clay and sculptural assemblage Nancy has been developing her work over the last decade to where it is today. An expression of Hope, Unity, and the strength of women, she guides her sculptures to tell the shear joy of their stories.