Sue Canizares Ceramics embodies a feminine expression of Nature designs achieved through a combination of techniques, including Sgraffito. Her vines, flowers and animals come to life as she carves through colored slip to reveal the clay body beneath it.
“I began using clay as a medium of artistic expression while living for several years in the historic Burgundy region of France. There I was surrounded by, and became obsessed with, medieval history: the music and literature (especially the “lore of the Feminine in Nature”), the architecture, the artifacts and symbols.
When I visited and explored the Cluny museum in Paris, I was struck by the beauty, the symbolic imagery and richly textured surfaces of “La Dame à la Licorne” tapestries that are housed there. Studying and thinking about those ancient tapestries transformed how I began to decorate the surfaces of my ceramic pieces.
I experimented by meticulously carving lines through colored slip to reveal the contrasting color of the clay beneath. The result is deeply textural and for me is reminiscent of embroidery, dressing each piece in an ornate manner that juxtaposes traditional decorative arts with contemporary shape and gesture. Much of the imagery that I carve is a variation of “Millesfleurs”, or “thousands of flowers” from the some of the designs on the Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries – stylized flowers, vines, leaves and animals.
My work evolves continuously, but the one constant is my interest in providing pieces that seek contemplation on many levels. They ask for a different attachment to an object in an environment – as something to be studied for its variation of form, its texture, its sometimes surprising color and its slowly revealed imagery. For me the process is magical; in some small measure, it allows me to feel lost in the same way I would become lost while looking at those artifacts from so long ago, in a place that feels like imagination now.”
-Sue Canizares Ceramics