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 Sue Abbrescia  (1940 - )

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Lived/Active: Montana/Michigan      Known for: clay coil vessels, animal sculpture

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Sue Abbrescia
An example of work by Sue Abbrescia
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from the artist:

Suzanne Carole Abbrescia

Born, 3/14/40 - Dearborn, MI, Living in Kalispell, MT

Known for Clay Coil Vessels (some bronze) in Contemporary style

The first published statement Sue Abbrescia made about her work was "I see in clay a soft, subtle beauty, a gentleness and contentment.....I simply guide it to completion."
Then and now, her vision remains the same.

Her first experience with clay came at the age of 42, when she wanted animal planters, filled with flowers, to place around the patio in Scottsdale, AZ. When a potter friend gave her 25 pounds of terra cotta and said "sculpt the planters and I will fire then for you, " she did just that, and discovered a passion for working with clay. Her first pottery class, through Scottsdale"s Parks and Recreation Department, was instructed by Carol Sherwood, who was supportive to each of her students individual creativity and assisted in skill development and the solution of technical problems as they arose.

Sue very shortly set up her own studio, creating coil vessels and hand built functional forms, and throwing pots on the wheel. She reached out for assistance in acquiring desired skills, attended workshops and seminars and exchanged ideas with other potters. She read everything she could about potters, pottery techniques and the history of ceramics. She viewed the work of her contemporaries and visited museums.

The first show she participated in was sponsored by an Arizona potter's organization, C.L.A.Y. (Craftsmen Living Among You), held at the Heard Museum in Phoenix. The coil vessels she exhibited became her trademark. Many juried exhibitions and invitational shows followed, including those at the American Craft Museum in New York City, the Taft Museum in Cincinnati, OH, the Arizona State University Museum in Tempe, AZ, and Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, IL.

Her work has been featured in many publications, including the NCECA Journal, Volume II; ASU Insight, Volume 10; Southwest Art Magazine; Scottsdale Scene Magazine; Today's Arizona Woman; Ceramics - Mastering the Craft 2nd Edition; Hand-formed Ceramics - Creating Form and Surface, Electric Kiln Ceramics 2nd Edition; and Ceramics - Mastering the Craft--- all by Richard Zakin; The Ceramic Design Book - A Gallery of Contemporary Work by Lark Books; and Handbuilt Ceramics by Kathy Triplett.

She has been presented with awards for her work by Rudy Turk, former Director of the Arizona State University Museum, Jim Ballinger, former Director of the Phoenix Art Museum, and internationally known potters Edwin and Mary Scheier and Anne Currier.

In addition to functional pottery and clay coil vessels, Sue has turned to the bronze medium to express her love of animals. Among her whimsical sculptures are "Forty Winks", a cat asleep on a pillow, "Holier Than Thou", a snooty cat on a pedestal, "Bunny Bank", just what the name says, and a dog looking up, cocking his ears, as if to say "What Was the Question?"

In 1993, Sue and artist husband Joe Abbrescia returned to Kalispell, MT, where they set up their respective studios and a gallery.

Merit Award, Feats of Clay, 1995
Juror's Award, Clay, 1991
Juror's Award, Clay, 1988
Juror's Award, Clay: Past, Present and Future, 1987
First Place, Arts and Crafts, 1985

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts 1999 National Ceramic Competition
Florence, AL, 1999
Ceramics Monthly International Competition, Columbus, OH, 1999
Governors Mansion Exhibition, Helena, MT, 1999
Valley Invitational Exhibit, Hockaday Museum of Art, Kalispell, MT 1998
The Best in Contemporary Clay, Miller Gallery, Cincinnati, OH, 1997
Two-person Show, Woodbridge Gallery, Gualala, CA, 1993
The Clay Cup IV, Southern Illinois University, 1992
National Studio Pottery Network Exhibit, Shemer Art Center & Museum,
Phoenix, AZ, 1991
Earth & Fire: Ceramic Sculpture from the ASU Collection, Tempe, AZ, 1991
NCECA Juried Members Exhibition, Taft Museum, Cincinnati, OH, 1990
A Decade of Craft, American Craft Museum, New York, NY 1990
Celebrating Eight Recognized American Ceramic Artists, Cincinnati, OH, 1990
Crossroads in Clay: Contemporary Ceramic Invitational, Baker University,
Baldwin, KS, 1989
C.L.A.Y. at the Heard Museum, Phoenix, AZ 1984

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