Susan Frost

Westside Shift, 2022

21.5 × 20 × 30 cm
My work uses the evocative properties of colour and decoration to explore the sculptural qualities of form.

Within an evolving palette, subtle gradations of colour are applied to the surfaces of wheel thrown porcelain vessels. The placement and proportions of the forms enable colours to interact with each other in exciting or unexpected ways.

Decoration is layered and etched by hand into the clay surface. Inspired by architectural adornment and patterns found in the urban landscape, they are meticulously placed so they flow continuously around the form.

I exploit the materiality of the porcelain through long, hot firings. The vessel shrinks and moves as it reaches vitrification and achieves strength and translucency. The melting glaze breaks on the edges of the decoration and pools in its recesses creating tonal contrasts. The once sharp, precise edges of the decoration are softened but the pattern as a whole becomes more defined.

This work comes from time spent in New York where I studied the facades of many buildings erected during the 1920’s and onwards from iconic skyscrapers to humble municipal structures. “Westside Shift” evokes the cadence of a multi-layered city and its convergence of variant motifs. The elements here are unified by analogous hues, echoing the cool tones of modern construction.
Susan Frost is a ceramic artist living and working in Adelaide, South Australia who uses the evocative properties of colour and decoration to highlight the sculptural qualities of form within her wheel thrown porcelain vessels. Frost completed her studies at the Adelaide College of the Arts in 2008, taking an Associate position at JamFactory Craft & Design in 2009, later becoming a tenant. Receiving numerous commissions for her functional pieces, Frost has produced corporate gifts for the Tour Down Under, centrepieces for guest rooms in the Crown Metropole in Melbourne and table vases for Jacobs Creek Winery restaurant. More recently Frost has expanded her exhibition practice creating an installation for the SAM Showcase at Shepparton Art Museum in 2017 and being curated into exhibitions throughout Australia including a major touring exhibition with the Australian Design Centre celebrating the Sixtieth Anniversary of the Australian Journal of Ceramics. In 2019 Frost undertook a 4-month self-directed residency at BKLYN CLAY in New York with funding assistance from Arts South Australia, dividing her time between studying the city’s architecture and museum collections and making work in the studio in response. This experience has shifted Frost’s practice into a slower, more research-based approach with a stronger focus on developing one-off pieces and bodies of work for exhibition. The City of Whitehorse purchased three ceramic pieces in 2020 becoming the first public collection to hold her work.
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