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Susanne G. Stephenson

Biography to Display: 

1935Born Canton, Ohio


1957BFA Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1960MFA Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


1963-1991Professor of Art, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan

1960University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan


Susanne Stephenson is known for functional forms that carry Abstract Expressioist surface decoration.

Stephenson's ceramics typically begin as a functional vessel form made of Woodman low-fire terracotta. She shapes the clay using a combination of techniques including throwing, coiling,, and slab building. Once the vessels are  leatherhard or bisque fired she uses thick colored slips, engobes and applied clay crumbs to create an impasto, painterly effect. Inspired by nature, especially water, Stephenson's Abstract Expressionist surface decoration often evokes a landscape. She occasionally uses scraffito carving to finish her works, revealing colors beneath the top surface and increasing the sense of movement inherent in her works.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Ariana Musee, Geneva, Switzerland

Arizona State University Museum of Art, Tempe, Arizona

Benaki Museum, Athens, Greece

Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Choson Royal Kiln Museum, Kwangiu, Korea

Cranbrook Museum of Art, Bloomfield, Michigan

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan

Downey Museum of Art, Downey, California

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

Foshan/Nanfeng Museum and San Bao Collection, Fuping, China

Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art, Toronto, Canada

Grand Valley State University, Grand Rapids, Michigan

International Ceramic Center, Denmark

Loket Porcelain Museum, Loket, Czech Republic

Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, Californ

Mint Museum, Charlotte, North Carolina

Musee National de Céramique de Sevres, France

Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York

Museum of Decorative Arts, Prague, Czech Republic


Bibliography to Display: 

Brown, Glen. “Exploiting Paradox.” Ceramics: Art & Perception 35 (1999).

Burns, Sean. "A National Clay Invitational.” Spectrum, October 1985.

Fraganza, Trixie. "Studio Potters Reviewed.” NCECA Journal, 1985.

Hluch, Kevin. The Art of Contemporary American Pottery. Ashville, NC: Lark Books, 2001.

Hopper, Robin. The Ceramic Spectrum: A Simplified Approach to Glaze and Color Development. Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2001.

Kendall, Gail. “Developing Surfaces with Slip, Scrafitto and Glaze.” Pottery Making Illustrated, Summer 2004.

Ostermann, Mathias. The Ceramic Surface. New York, NY: Holt Reinhardt, 2004.

Stephenson, Susanne G. "Color and Form: Landscape, Uncovering the Painted Gesture." Studio Potter, December 1999.

_____________________. "Perception." Studio Potter, December 1988.


CV or Resume: Click Here to Download


Artist's Studio: Stephenson Ceramics


Typical Marks
Mark used for 30 years.
Mark used for 30 years.
Mark used for 30 years.
Mark used for 30 years.
Mark used for 30 years.
Mark used for 30 years.
Blue Wave
Date: 2007
Form: Sculpture
Materials: Terracotta
Method: Hand-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze
Photo: Artist
Photo: Artist
Photo: Artist
Casadilla Gourge
Date: 2012
Form: Vessel
Materials: Terracotta
Method: Thrown and Altered
Surface Technique: Engobe
Photo: Artist
Photo: Artist
Dragon Wave
Form: Platter
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Hand-Built
Surface Technique: Engobe
Photo: Artist
Photo: Artist
Photo: Artist
Red Storm
Form: Plate
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Hand-Built
Surface Technique: Engobe
Photo: Artist
Photo: Artist

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified July 21, 2023.