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Sue Rossiter


I grew up around industrial production and making on the Thames Estuary. My father had a foundry and I learnt sewing, tapestry and embroidery skills from my mother.


I lost connection with these making skills over a twenty-year period whilst working in the corporate sector.


In 2008 I left the South East and moved to North Devon where I discovered clay. This led to a Ceramics degree at The University of Plymouth, Petroc College where I graduated with a distinction in 2012.


Since then my practice has continually evolved, fuelled by my passion for making, North Devon's industrial textile heritage and the beautiful coastline where I live.


My practice is focused on valuing and celebrating making and the craft skills I grew up with. By engaging with the history of making and textiles in the area where I live I have reconnected with my own half-forgotten skills and found a renewed sense of identity and belonging.


I mainly work in clay using earthenware, black clay and handmade paperclay to create series or special Collections inspired by the industries I am investigating.


Each piece is unique and individually handmade using slab-building and modelling techniques.


I also combine clay with other materials; wool, leather and thread in innovative new ways, pushing my skills forward, and helping to keep them alive.


I learn how things are made through factory visits and residencies, investigating materials and undertaking research which inspires the sculptures, figures and wall pieces I make.


Special colour palettes are developed for each Collection, inspired by the materials and industries I am highlighting.


Surface pattern and design is inspired by sounds from the factory, production processes, and moving parts, echoed in the stamping, brush strokes, and repetition of marks on the surface.


Pieces often incorporate many layers and multiple firings to bring a sense of history to the surface.


My work has been exhibited nationally at galleries including Thrown Contemporary in London, Black Swan Arts in Frome, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Broomhill Art Hotel in Barnstaple and the Devon Guild of Craftsmen in Bovey Tracey.


I was shortlisted for a Jerwood Visual Arts Artist Bursary in 2017 and have received various awards including an Arts Council England Grant for the Arts in 2016 and the Craft Pottery Charitable Trust Annual Ceramics Award in 2013.


For the last ten years I have been assisting Sandy Brown in her studio in Appledore and was involved with the making of the large-scale ceramic installation ‘Temple’, exhibited at Sotheby’s ‘Beyond Limits and the Landscape of British Sculpture’ Exhibition at Chatsworth House in 2015.