About Susan McDonald

On a Personal Note - About Susan McDonald

Photo of Susan McDonaldMy work is inspired by the wondrous colours and forms in our natural world — in the view from my studio window, the formation of snow on ice and trees, the explosions of colour in spring, and the waning of the garden in fall …

It’s a thrill for me to create “one-of-a-kind” teapots, but I also love making larger pieces such as wall mounted installations, bowls, and urns. Each piece is an original design and I make all of my own glazes to achieve the finish to suit each piece. I am also specializing in urns suitable for ashes and I can provide you with a catalogue of these items or will produce something specific if you have a request.

I originally studied pottery with Edwin Longueville, of Green Heron Studio, and carried on in the ‘self-taught’ tradition of experimentation with clay bodies and glazes with the help of many mentors!

I have also taken workshops and courses through Fusion (The Ontario Clay and Glass Association), the Potters Council, NCECA, Haliburton School of the Arts, and the Kawartha Potters Guild. I continue to challenge myself with ongoing study of both form and function. I am a member of Fusion, the Ontario Craft Council, and the Potters Council of the American Ceramic Society, the Northumberland Potters Association, The Colborne Art Gallery, the Kawartha Potters Guild, and the American Craft Council.

Photo of Vessels

Working (and playing) with clay has been an exciting exploration — and has taken me on many exciting journeys! (Including New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, and CHINA!) Teaching pottery has given me not just students, but many, many friends …

So, on a ‘personal note’, everyone who works in my studio joins me in this transformation, for clay will surely show you who you are. Are you impatient? Are you tense? Are you angry? Are you joyous? Are you content? Are you loving? Are you compassionate? Are you able to maintain concentration? All of those things will come out in the pieces that you produce — in a form that will last for thousands of years!

Christmas Ornaments

And it’s such fun! Every time you unload the kiln it’s like Christmas morning …Will the glazes be good, will the form maintain itself, have we over-fired, have we under-fired, will colors have leaped from one piece to another (this does actually happen), what great ‘accidents’ will have happened that actually improve a piece? What did you do right that could never be done again? So much anticipation! And, what about the poor pot that you labored over for hours and hours, that looks like crap when it comes out of the kiln? What does that do to the mood? What an adventure!

The best comment I’ve ever received about one of my teapots is, “You have changed the way I drink tea, the whole process of thinking about making tea has changed since I started to use your beautiful little teapot!” (Karma Chime Wongmo)

It is my hope that each piece I create in clay becomes a work of fine art that encourages touch, that leaves a lingering sense of joy and peace, and helps you be still as you enjoy your interaction with functional art. What a great way to start and finish your day!

May you be well and happy … Susan McDonald

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Calendar of Events

Pottery Classes here in Frankford!
Practically Potty Studio
25 Hanna Lane, Frankford, Ont.
905-753-2731 or 613-398-1584

She’s everywhere, she’s everywhere — to check the schedule visit our Events Page for more info!

You can also visit the Ungallery in Picton to see Susan’s pottery and work on paper — just click here for more info!

Or, if you’re looking for more functional work go to Grill’s Orchard.  They have a selection of Susan’s mugs and bowls.

And you won’t want to miss our Handcrafted Holiday event, or the Studio Open Houses.  Make sure you go to the Events page!