This clay based apprenticeship will focus on learning the end to end process of tile creation. They will work on flat tiles and relief methods, adding details, layering glazes, combining textures, and how all of these elements react to the firing process and produce different outcomes. Then Kristen would like to learn how to branch out into some larger works incorporating Susan’s signature relief methods and potentially a frieze, lamp, or frame with the overall goal of making work that is interesting, professional and unique. Learning the business side of Susan’s practice will also be shared throughout their time together.
Susan Beere (Warner, NH)
Susan Beere has been making handmade ceramic murals and smaller freehanging works for over 40 years. She is also an accomplished painter and Watercolorist.
She studied art at Palomar College in San Marcos, California, and later took graduate courses in technical ceramics with Dr. John Conrad at Mesa College in SanDiego. Dr. Conrad, author of seven books on technical ceramics, continues to act
as a consultant to Susan and a working colleague. She has also studied privately with other accomplished painting and drawing teachers.
Her ceramic work received international recognition in the book Handmade Tiles, by Frank Giorgini. Published in the United States by Lark books, it sold out its first edition in less than two months. A year later, David & Charles published the book in the United Kingdom. Five of Susan’s works were featured in the book, and her “Egret’s View” mural was featured on the cover. She was also featured as a contributing artist in the book, Architectural Ceramics, by Peter King.
She became a state juried member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen in 2005 and her works are currently on sale at the League retail galleries throughout New Hampshire. Susan has been featured in several television and radio interviews in New Hampshire, and The Concord Monitor has run featured articles about her work.
During her career, Susan has completed and installed hundreds of large murals, friezes and surrounds in homes, offices and commercial buildings. In addition, she has sold smaller works, some of which are permanently installed while others are mounted for wall hanging. She has shown in art galleries in California, New Hampshire, Texas, Arizona and Colorado.
Susan’s enthusiasm and love of her work transfers to everything she does. Susan emphasizes design, color, employing high relief, free form shapes, and tactile surfaces. The work is durable, easily maintained, and can be permanently installed or hung by various means.
Most of her works are commissioned, which in nearly every case requires working closely with contractors, designers, and architects. She enjoys close relationships with several collectors who own her works.
Susan has completed hundreds of permanent installations of her large works in offices, hospitality venues, and private residences. In nearly every case, these have involved working in close collaboration with architects, designers, and contractors, working from plans in most instances, and supervising installation when necessary.
She has recently completed two public art projects:
Installations at the new Superior Court House in Concord, NH in 2021-22:
“Hummingbirds at Sunset” mural in the entrance lobby.
“Moonlit Night” mural in the Grand Jury room.
“I met Kristen when she commissioned a mountain and lake themed backsplash for her kitchen. We worked together on ideas and I transferred our composition to tile. A bit of magic happened where the lake in the work reflected on the glass cooktop. We found ourselves sharing ideas and building a friendship. Kristen was the first person I thought of when I heard about the program. We inspire each other in our own works too. We live in the same town so it will be easy for us to keep working together.” – Susan Beere
Kristen Riley (Warner, NH)
Kristen Riley has been drawing, painting, sewing and crafting in various forms as an essential part of being since childhood. She studied perspective, painting, figure drawing, watercolor, and art as process alongside classics, math and astrophysics through Tufts University partnership with the MFA in Boston. Her inspiration is drawn from natural beauty and capturing little slices of life. She spent many summers on the shores of Sebago Lake and on the water in Blue Hill and Penobscot Bay and winters in the Lake Sunapee region and NH’s White Mountains. The dynamic beauty of all these places has inspired her to create landscapes with themes of water, mountains and trees. She also creates detailed animal portraits, boats and whimsical vignettes of children’s adventures. She often combines earth elements like beach stones, shells, and branches into mini scenes when their natural shapes evoke an image. She created a series of nautical themed bags quilted from neckties in memory of a dear sailor.
As a professional digital designer and software engineer, Kristen brings an artistic touch to the digital world. She combines beauty with function to help people more easily use software. She has designed computer interfaces, logos, icons, ads, packaging, marketing materials, trade show booths, and apparel for various companies. She helped organize over 100 crafts vendors for the Warner Fall Foliage Festival juried show each October for the past 6 years. She recently joined a team of engineers designing software to make students better writers.
Kristen developed an interest in ceramics when she commissioned Susan Beere to help her bring a mountain and water scene to life in her kitchen. She and Susan discovered synergy in their other works and have been pursuing several ideas of new pieces to work on together. This is Kristen’s first real dive into clay but she is very excited to learn ceramic techniques and bring some new creations to market.
“I was instantly drawn to Susan’s mountain work when I saw it in a Warner cafe/art studio. I had envisioned hills in my kitchen but didn’t have tile skills and found nothing like I imagined in retail. When I discovered Susan I hired her to bring my idea to life. Susan was easy to work with, talented and able to envision and blend my ideas but keep her own style. Susan inspired my interest in ceramics, and when she told me about this program it felt like a perfect opportunity to partner more.” – Kristen Riley