About the Artist
Susan has worked with glass for over 30 years. She earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in glass from Kent State University; Bachelor’s from Radford University and studied glass at Pilchuck, Haystack, Arrowmont, Penland Schools. She is the recipient of numerous grants and awards, including an American Craft Council Award of Excellence, Individual Artist Fellowship and New Forms Florida as well as Best of Show and First Place in many exhibitions.
Susan’s work can be found in major galleries, private and corporate collections including Raymond James Financial, Tampa General Hospital, The Kessler Collection, All Childrens’ Hospital, Polypack, and Disney Corporate Collection. Her work can be found in permanent museum collections including the Alexander Brest Museum, Cafesjian Museum of Art in Armenia, The St. Pete Museum and The Polk Museum of Art.
Susan Gott has created large scale, public art works using cast glass bas-relief panels, lighting, fountains, seating, combining steel and stone. Her glass is included in the public collections of the City of Tampa, Arts and Culture Alliance of St. Lucie, University of Central Florida, Port Tampa Library, The City of St. Petersburg, and HARTline’s University Area Transit Center. Her work is published in New Glass Review, Glass Art 2000, Glass Art Magazine, Sunshine Artist and American Craft.
Susan grew up in Virginia and Tennessee and resides in central Tampa. She built and operates her own Phoenix Glass Studio where she combines studio and home into a unique artist’s atelier. She has over seventeen years’ experience as an art educator and has worked with several non-profit organizations including the Glass Art Society. Susan organized the 1999 Glass Art Society Conference held in Tampa and served as the Conference Co-Chair.
About the Work
My work embodies my interest in mythological imagery, symbolism, and philosophies from historic and ancient cultures as I investigate these ideas using glass as a sculptural medium. The elements of this ancient, visual language express the union of human being and nature. These images have become enmeshed in my thought and in my art to create a new mythos in glass. My sources of inspiration seem endless. I am intensely interested in archeology and the rituals and art of various world religions. Some of the additional influences include the work of Joseph Campbell, the figurines of ancient Eastern Europe, the symbolism found in Indonesian and African masks, the mysteries of the Celts, the myths of ancient Greece, the belief systems of Native American, and the energy centers of the Chakras. The resulting glass, with primitive qualities and metaphors, are a visual re—presentation of the cycles of life. The human form becomes a vessel for connection to Spirit. These investigations have opened new sources of inspiration for my work and strengthened a connection between my art and that, which is timeless.
About the Process
The art works evolve from my research and drawings as they give rise to the development of forms and figures. I construct molds using one or more techniques for glass casting. Sand casting combines my aesthetic concerns and allows an articulate yet raw method of expressing an ancient connection to the contemporary. I frequently work with a rigid sand mold technique, for it allows me to work on a large scale, carve directly into the sand mold, and ‘paint’ images with powdered glass The casting process is intense and involves ladling the molten glass directly from the furnace at 2400° F. Images, inclusions, and ‘windows’ are planned and created in advance, however the ‘parts’ must be placed into the glass while it is still molten. Intuitive decisions must be made as I manipulate the hot glass before it cools. Timing, temperature, equipment and the casting team must be accurate and organized. There is a vast amount of preparation and finish work that goes into each cast glass sculpture. After the annealing or cooling process, the sand mold is removed, the mold is destroyed and no two pieces are alike. The glass must be coldworked, and hand-ground and polished. The glass reveals itself in layers, diffusing and reflecting light, exposing and disguising the interior. The surfaces are enhanced with enamels, copper, gold leaf, patinas and etching. I enjoy combining glass, steel, and stone to bring yet another natural element to the finished glass sculpture.