Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Su Griggs, Ceramic Sculpture Artist, Tells Her Story

Although I studied painting and illustration in art school, my work in recent years has been focused on ceramic sculpture. I am intrigued by the figure and how it can express the complex world of human emotions. By tearing off the masks we choose to wear by our own nature, or those imposed on us by others or society, we begin to understand what it is to be human and how we are connected.

This angel, above, tells the story of connection, to nature and the earth. The sun, moon, trees, fish and birds are carved in the clay before I bisque fire the piece. They symbolize her essence. I use a low fire clay body and a slab/coil method of construction.

I am motivated by a desire to connect to a creative energy and to have a deeper experience within myself of being inspired (in spirit). Influenced by classical realism and surrealism, I like to re-interpret that era and apply it to the present, with a contemporary twist. I may embed found or recycled items into the piece to invoke a sense of wonder and mystery.

With just a slight turn of the head or closed eye, the piece will convey a story. It may capture a feeling of whimsy or playfulness, or convey an inner world, one of wonder and mystery, or sadness and loss. Two people may look at the same piece and read different things into it. I like to keep it ambiguous in this way so as to open the imagination of the viewer, rather than telling the complete story.

I was fortunate to travel abroad a lot growing up, as my father was a tour director, and I was amazed by the skill and beauty reflected in the works of art at the major museums. I think my imagination was inspired by these travels and how uniquely expressive the artwork reflected different cultures.

My inspiration comes from everywhere really; music, literature, philosophy, science, quantum physics and nature, to name a few. I go in my studio each day to work, with music or an audio book playing in the background. Although, my starting point may be a sketch, I particularly like making a series of miniatures as they let me get into the flow. I like to step out of the way and become the observer. Interesting things can happen that way. The creative process takes over and I constantly surprise myself!

My work can be seen in my Sarasota home studio by appointment, at one of the fine art events around the country where I exhibit, or at the galleries that carry my work. For a compete list of venues, please visit

You can also connect with Su on Facebook. This is Week 29 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Sus story today!

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