When Susanne James is not busy selling cottages in the Haliburton Highlands she is busily at work in her pottery studio creating a variety of functional stoneware items including the incredible dragonfly mugs that are the prize in May 2012′s draw for those who sign up for the www.MadeInHaliburton.ca newsletter or “Like us” on Facebook. Susanne has a passion for dragonflies and sees them as the “good bugs”, ones that are welcome especially when those nasty biting bugs appear. After all the dragonfly consumes these nastier creatures and thus, the more the merrier. All of her functional items for the home are dishwaher, micro wave and food safe. Each item is handmade and one-of-a-kind. Thus, don’t expect these two dragonfly mugs to be exact replicas of one another as they were not made from a mold. Most of her pieces are wheel thrown but she has a few square or rectangulare pieces that she hand builds. For the platter shown on the left she brings twigs from the forest into the studio and uses them to duplicate mother nature’s designs precisely.
In addition to functional items for the household Susanne likes to knit and thus, has created an innovative series of knitting related pottery items. The best known of these items is her knitting yarn bowl. Great way to keep your yarn clean and close by. Her other items include mugs with a cable knit pattern on the side and needle and spindle holders.
Susanne took her first pottery course at the Haliburton School of the Arts 20 or more years ago and has taken many additional courses since. While she has dabbled in other artistic media she is most taken with pottery. She loves the texture of the red clay she works with and the aroma of cocoa bean shells that it gives off as she works in the studio that has been created for her in her home. Her firing is done in an electric kiln.
Susanne is a very active member of the Arts Community in the Haliburton Highlands. She is a member of the Arts Council~Haliburton Highlands, a board member of the Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre, and a participant in the Tour de Forest, a studio tour that takes place on the August long weekend each year. Take a look a a sampling of her work at www.MadeInHaliburton.ca.