Maker of the month - Susie Macdonald, China artist from Lodsworth
- Credit: Archant
Originally Susie Macdonald dreamed of being a journalist, but when she got married she realised that she took great pleasure in making things for the house. “I knew then that I was probably more creative than practical, especially being as terrible as I am at maths.”
Before becoming an artist, Susie worked in advertising, commercial television, marketing, children’s publishing and she once ran her own catering business. Now though, it is china that is her passion.
Has she a special piece that she covets?
“I don’t really have one in particular. I love it when people ask me to make special children’s sets. Hearing that they insist on eating and drinking from them because they love them so much makes me feel very good.
“Possibly though my favourite is a plate that I made for my father when he was ill, before he died, which he seemed to treasure.”
What is her advice for others wanting to follow a similar path?
“Go for it! I went on a two-day course just for the fun of it about 20 years ago and just got hooked. I wasn’t very good at it but you get better and you find your own style. So I would say, learn the basics and go your own way with that.”
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Having taught in France a few years ago, Susie is now about to start teaching day classes at home in Lodsworth with small groups: “I think it will be fun for everyone.”
Not originally a Sussex girl, Susie went to boarding school in Surrey, and moved close to East Grinstead after a stint working in London. “I went back to London for a while and then moved back to Lodsworth. Then I lived in south-west France for six years, which was wonderful, but I missed England and my family and friends. I am now back in Sussex and hope I can stay here for the rest of my days.” “My mobility has become affected by various health issues over the years but I used to love walking my labrador and nature has always had a calming yet stimulating effect. I could look at something as simple as a weed and get an idea. Equally, because my painting is on bone china where you can wipe off what you don’t like endlessly, I can sit with a blank piece and it will evolve.
“Because sometimes I write funny sayings on mugs or other pieces, I keep a notebook handy to jot down things that I read or hear.
Does Sussex inspire her art?
“I don’t paint landscapes, but I do paint flowers, leaves, labradors, wellies and frogs, so indirectly, it does.”
Susie takes a lot of commissions, and asks for as much information as possible for a particular piece.
“I paint and fire the china in my little study here. In previous houses I have had more space but, honestly, one can paint anywhere.”
Susie offers painting courses for one to six people. 01798 874402; firstname.lastname@example.org