Rocky Neck Art Colony

Susan Hershey


Pigeon Hill Pottery
Rockport, MA

Rocky Neck Gallery member

It was not in my life’s plan early on to become a visual artist. I started out in theatre, both in acting and in costume design, but with two young children I learned the theatre life was not for me. When my children became teenagers I studied ceramics at Mass College of Art, and in 1988, after living in Cambridge for 25 years, returned to Cape Ann. With friends I built a Fred Olsen style “fast fire” wood-burning kiln and made a studio in my basement.
             My wood kiln is fired five or six times a year. Firings take anywhere from 15 to 25 hours to complete and require constant feeding of the fire. A group of us work together and the firings are joyous events that can last late into the night. Before it can be opened, the kiln needs to cool for at least as long as it has been hot. Although, wood firings produce mostly unglazed, earth-toned pottery, I also use high fire glazes to obtain some color. The markings on the pots are a result of the ash from the fire that swirls around inside the kiln during the firing.
I have taken workshops and classes with local potter Cynthia Curtis, Welsh potter Phil Rogers, Minnesota potter Linda Christainson, the Shino Warrior Malcolm Davis, Michael Kline, wood fire guru Jack Troy, Tim Rowan, hand-builder extraordinaire Hayne Bayless, Robert Briscoe, Ken Matsuzaki, Tomoo Hamada, Warren MacKenzie and Karen Orsillo.
Pigeon Hill Pottery is located in Rockport, Massachusetts, where I live happily near the Atlantic Ocean on top of a hill with my dog Cooper.

Susan Hershey
Egret bottle or vase

Susan Hershey
Large Carved Vessel