Susan Margin

I have been inspired by ancient baskets ever since I saw an exhibit of them in a Washington state museum. Each one was more than a woven basket; each was a sculptural object that captured a moment in time, a stage in the irrepressible path between durability and decay. My clay sculpture captures the essence of this impermanence by transforming it into a permanent medium. I am fascinated by the concept of warp and weft. The interconnectedness of warp and weft are metaphors for the fabric of existence, the cycles of life, the patterns of the universe, and the transience of organic matter. My ancestors wove cane and other fibers. I feel a visceral connection to all my grandmothers for whom warp and weft were a way of life using processes deeply rooted in tradition. As I slowly weave and hand-coil clay, I become, as it were, a needle passing through the generations. After firing, I apply unconventional patinas such as metallic surfacers and gold leaf to convey the notion of preciousness. I then preserve the underlying finish with several coats of wax.

Mystical Presence
10 by 12 inches

Arroyo in Moonlight
9 by 9 inches

Memories of Fez
12 by 9 inches

5 by 6 inches

10 by 10 inches