Fred & Susan Borthwick work out of their home studio, Lakeshore Clay in Tavares, FL. They have been creating with clay for over 40 years. Fred and Susan met in the ceramics lab at Columbus College of Art and Design in Columbus, Ohio. Life happened as both pursued family, degrees and careers. Fred received his MFA in sculpture and ceramics from Notre Dame University, ran their ceramic studio and pursued an IT career. Susan worked as an art therapist before earning her MA in art education from Ohio State University. She taught art for 23 years. After retiring they moved to the central Florida area to be near family and soak up the warm weather. Even though they share a studio, a home, two kids, three grandkids and many memories, their artwork is as individual as they are.
Fred was drawn to ceramics because of its inherent three dimensional nature and sculptural promise - the ability to go from functional to sculptural within the same medium. All of his pieces are high fired stoneware or porcelain that are wheel thrown, hand-built or a combination of these two techniques. Textural surfaces are frequently incorporated into the ceramic forms along with a variety of colored slips, stains, and glazes during the final stages of his creative process. He is currently working with crystalline glazes which demand exact firing and cooling temperatures to produce beautiful crystals on the surface. The pottery is fired in several large electric kilns using an oxidation atmosphere for the majority of his work. When not using the electric kiln, Fred enjoys working with a more immediate firing technique known as Raku.
Susan's figurative sculptures reflect her life experiences. She finds it impossible to separate who she is from the art she creates. Many of her sculptures speak to her experiences as a woman and a mother. The mask is a reoccurring theme in her narrative pieces because Susan believes that everyone wears different masks throughout their lives. The narrative nature of her work is reflective of her art therapy and education backgrounds. Every piece tells a story. Most of her sculptures are hand coiled although she occasionally alters wheel thrown pieces. Texture and detail are very important as she uses a variety of clays, slips and stains to bring her people to life. Susan works with a mid range stoneware clay, fired in an oxidation electric kiln.