Washington Glass School Welcomes UK Artist Susan Ratliff

UK Glass Artist Susan Ratliff is overwhelmed by the Americanness of it all.

Forget all the kerfuffle about the newest UK arrival at Buckingham Palace. The Washington Glass School has its own UK arrival – University of Sunderland artist Susan Ratliff has begun her artist residency thru August. Susan is about to begin third year as an undergraduate in Glass and Ceramics at Sunderland University. Susan came to glass after a career in the field of Special Educational Needs – both as a teacher and as a Head of Service.

Susan Ratliff, “Can You Remember” sandcast glass. The series of cast panels references loss of memory caused by Alzheimer’s disease.

Said Susan about her studies in glass: “I have always loved glass but only in the last few years have I learnt how to work with glass,it is an amazing material . I started by taking some classes at the National Glass Centre in Sunderland,which then led on to me studying at the University of Sunderland.”

Michael Janis discusses sgraffito techniques with Susan Ratliff at University of Sunderland, 2012.

“During my first year Michael Janis and Tim Tate came to the University of Sunderland on their Fulbright scholarship and taught two Masterclasses on Dry Plaster Casting and Sgraffito. They were amazing and I learnt many new techniques.” 
Susan said about coming to Washington Glass School: “I came to learn about the real world of glass, to find out how a studio works, including day-to-day issues like balancing the cost of materials and equipment, setting kiln-firing schedules, dealing with the pressure of commissions and also the sheer joy of creating. I hope through the Internship to prepare myself a little for life after University as a working artist.…I inquired with Tim and Michael about internship opportunities and a year on, here I am at The Washington Glass School!” 

Susan Ratliff, “Landscape”, kilncast glass, mirrors. The 1st year presentation dealt with self image and identity. Susan had incorporated dry plaster casting techniques for the installation piece.

If you are coming to the studio – make sure you stop by and say “Hi” to Susan, and make the Brit feel at home!

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