Art - Ceramics - Suzanne Crane

Suzanne Crane grew up in a family of botanists and bird-watchers in Wisconsin, but now lives in Central Virginia, on the east side of the Blue Ridge Mountains. After earning a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in English and Creative Writing, she moved to Charlottesville, Virginia for graduate school in English. She earned an MA from the University of Virginia in 1987 and began teaching Composition, Creative Writing, and American Literature in the Virginia Community College System soon after. While a part-time teacher at Piedmont Virginia Community College, she began taking pottery classes in the evenings, mostly to get her mind off of text-based communication, but also to experiment with being a beginner at something again. She continued taking pottery classes at PVCC even after becoming a full time professor at Germanna Community College, near Culpeper and Fredericksburg, Virginia. PVCC’s ceramics program is the best in Central Virginia, and she had the opportunity to study in depth with functional potter Tom Clarkson, and to take classes and workshops from Susan Filley, Steven Hill, Jim Parmentier, Royce Yoder, Millicent Young, and others over the 10 year period that she taught English full time.

From 1990 to 1996 she worked informally as a studio assistant to Tom Clarkson at PVCC, learning to load and fire the school’s kilns, helping teach beginning potters, and mixing glazes. In the summer of 1996 and again in 1997, she worked as a studio assistant at Clayworks, Tom and Connie Clarkson’s studio in Ruckersville, Virginia while she and her husband, Matthew Crane, built a studio for her in Earlysville Virginia. In late fall of 1997, they opened Mud Dauber Pottery, which includes Suzanne’s studio, work space for three other potters who rent from her, and a retail gallery from which to sell all four potters’ work.

Crane began showing her work at juried arts festivals in 1997. She quit her teaching job in December 2000 and has been a self-supporting full-time potter since then. She has exhibited her work at the Philadelphia Museum of Art Craft Show, the American Craft Exposition in Evanston, IL, the Cherry Creek Arts Festival in Denver, CO, The Saint Louis Art Fair, the Long’s Park Art Festival in Lancaster, PA, and many others.

In 1999, she won a first place award in ceramics at the Saint Louis Art Fair. Since 2000, her work has been represented by, and has been included in many print catalogues. In 2002, she will solicit gallery representation for the first time.

Matthew Crane has been married to Suzanne Crane since 1993 and is her partner in business as well. A builder by trade, he designed and built the pottery studio and continues to maintain the building and all of the equipment in addition to keeping track of taxes, insurance, accounting and other business matters. He travels to all of the shows as driver, roadie, laborer, sales rep, and companion.



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