BIOGRAPHY - SUZ MOLE FUSED GLASS ARTIST
I am a native of the rolling green hills of Shelby, North Carolina, where my Dad was the county surgeon. After graduating from Wake Forest University, I spent several decades out west and I also had the opportunity to travel extensively in Australia and throughout Asia, even living in Tokyo for five years! During this period I became increasingly immersed in the local arts culture of each community. While exploring various art mediums, I found my true love when I discovered the color and lush sparkle of kiln-fired glass!
For the last several decades I have made functional and sculptural one-of-a-kind vivid glass art that has been exhibited and is sold in art galleries and contemporary craft stores throughout the United States. Almost a decade ago, I made a major change and moved across the country, and have taken on a new life in the south... achieving my dream of working as a full time professional artist!
I was drawn to South Carolina by the beaches and the ocean. When I was a girl, my family had a house near Myrtle Beach, and I have lots of wonderful memories from time spent there. It felt right to head back home and be near the healing properties of the coast. Now, I live and maintain a full time glass arts studio in Pawleys Island - five minutes from great beach walks! Twice daily, I can be found with my beloved dogs taking a beach walk, soaking up the treasures of the shore, which provides much of my artistic inspiration.
My mother taught me to love pretty things at a very early age, and I often hear that I am just like my mother – passionate, artistic and sensitive. Lucky me! I have always had an affinity for bright colors and symbolic shapes, particularly hearts because I am always being told that I wear my heart on my sleeve! I guess it's easy to understand why I keep being drawn back to heart imagery. When I first started firing glass, 20 plus years ago, one of the first pieces I made featured a heart. They really spoke to me then, and each heart I make, still does now!
Mother Earth is another source of inspiration for me. My daily beach walks have motivated me to create flowing, nature inspired glass imagery. I love discovering dried ocean coral, shells, sea urchins, and even the elusive (for Pawleys Island) sand dollar! I have begun incorporating these treasures, and the infinite variety of colors I am seeing everyday, into my fused glass pieces. The resulting bowls, ornaments, sculptures, and wall hangings celebrate and preserve the organic beauty of the beach, and making them heals my soul.
I am a fused/kiln fired glass artist – that means I combine various pieces of glass by layering and stacking them together, and then kiln firing them to a temperature of 1500 degrees where the bits and pieces of glass melt or “fuse” together. This type of glass work is called 'warm' glass because it is not heated to the 2300 degrees at which blown glass, or 'hot' glass is created. I use a lot of color flashing dichroic glass in my work, which makes it very distinctive.
Among my signature art pieces are my ALL SEASON ORNAMENTS. I make these by first drawing a unique, whimsical design that emphasizes love, laughter and color. Some of the basic design shapes I cut directly from the fusible glass I use. Sometimes I recreate my drawings in a digitized state, and the base shape is then water jet cut. After I have the base shapes, I embellish the designs with glass frit, glass powder and shaped pieces of colored and dichroic glass. Post firing, the colorful and sparkling ornaments are accented with my signature wire wrappings that often include the use of beads, charms and jewels. Each ornament is a unique creation and in keeping with that, I hand sign the back of each one.
My "ICE JEWELRY" with its rich colors and deep sense of space, is a perennial favorite. If you look closely at the image to the right, you can see four layers of bits of dichroic glass, built up on a base piece of blue colored glass, with a layer of clear glass on top. This layered glass collage is fused together. After coming out of the kiln, I carefully score and "cut" the thick slab of liquid looking color into chunks. After one more firing in the kiln, which softens the edges and enhances the feel of frozen fluidity, the “Ice” pendant is ready to be finished into a piece of incredibly unique jewelry.
DICHROIC MOSAIC is the term I use to describe the glass working technique I use in my bowls, platters and wall pieces. This technique evolved as, over the years, I have increasingly tried to use every bit of my materials. There are a lot of scraps left over after making my larger pieces – little slivers collected here and there really build up. I discovered I have a knack for putting them together in shapes! After I create a dense arrangement of the small bits of dichroic glass on a base layer of colored glass, the design is fused in a longer than usual firing, which allows all the layers to meld into a flat, smooth surface. When I first started working this way, I made mosaic heart platters and have now expanded into a large range of mosaic shapes and presentations. Creating these mosaics brings me great pleasure, and I love walking into the studio, knowing that my day will be filled with a sea of intricate colors and shapes.
HEART FELT ADVENTURE
I am celebrating life with a special on-going body of glass artwork. It's "hearts galore" in an expressive affirmation of living life passionately! I am developing and regularly introducing new hearts inspired glass work, that takes my vivid use of color and whimsical sense of design to a whole new level. Additionally, I am offering a special series of technique based WORKSHOPS designed to make the world of kiln fired glass accessible to anyone, and to embrace the creative flow of hearts, art and joy. I hope you will join me in these very special adventures!