Susan grew up in Virginia and Tennessee, and resides in central Tampa. She built and operates Phoenix Glass Studio where she combines studio and home into a unique artist’s atelier. Susan has worked in glass for 30 years and specializes in cast glass to create one-of-a-kind sculptures. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in glass from Kent State University, Bachelors from Radford University, and studied glass at Pilchuck, Haystack, Arrowmont, and Penland Schools.
The casting process is intense and involves ladling the molten glass directly from the furnace at 2300°F. Timing, temperature, and the casting team all have to work together with absolute accuracy to create each piece. Susan frequently works with a rigid sand mold technique, for it allows detail and the ability to work on a large scale. The interior images, symbols, inclusions, and colors are manipulated into the glass before it cools. After annealing, the individually-created mold is destroyed. The glass sculpture must be ground and polished. The surfaces are then enhanced with enamels, copper, gold leaf, patinas, and etching. Combining glass with steel and stone brings yet another natural element to the sculpture.