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Sue Scamihorn

My art is a way to have a conversation that a person can take with them and reflect on at a later time. It is my way of speaking into the lives of other people and sharing on a level that isn’t always possible through words.

Sue Scamihorn’s pottery whistles a different tune — and some of her pieces just plain whistle.

The best compliment she ever received was when someone said she has a well-developed sense of whimsy. It doesn’t matter to her whether the person was admiring one of the artisan’s jointed clay critters or her small, animal-shaped pottery whistles. “That comment highlights the uniqueness and attraction that draw the public to my work,” she explained.

“The clay translates my wonder, joy, and amazement of the world around me. The way it allows the unexpected to be expressed from my perspective is what captures the viewer’s attention and lets them see the world from my eyes.”

Sue has experimented with clay since childhood, when she tried to form bowls and cups from the sandy soil on the Kansas farm where she was raised. Years later, she married a potter, whose vast assortment of clay, glazes and tools threw the aspiring artist into sensory overload. She studied art in college and earned a master’s degree in art education. While school exposed Sue to many mediums, clay and sculpture have always been her favorites.

“Working with clay gives form to my desire to capture the artistic notions or creative insights we have as children and to share those imaginative moments with others,” she said. “My hands are constantly busy molding shaping, pressing, painting, tying or hinging.” During the select few hours when she’s not immersed in clay, she’s often snapping photos that give her ideas for other creations.

Sue’s materials and techniques are as unique as her designs are personal. Much of her design work begins with rolled clay that is cut, carved or impressed with various items, including lace, leaves, hand-carved stamps that create intricate detail and flowers. Sue’s jointed critters and whistles require careful shaping of tiny parts, while allowing for proper form/size, joints, and a whimsical design. After all, it’s not easy to form a prickly spined hedgehog that’s only an inch long and whistles loudly.

“I use limited amounts of glaze to embellish my work to allow for the natural beauty of the clay,” Sue said. Her more traditional pieces illustrate the fine lines of art, reflect Indiana’s landscape and the beauty often overlooked along a country road.

“My artwork is one of the ways I connect with others,” she continued. “It’s an intimately personal expression of my world view and of all that I hold dear.
I hope that being a partner with Indiana Artisan will broaden my boundaries as a professional, connect me with other outstanding artisans, and incubate opportunities for relationships with business owners.”