Artist of the week Susan Nordman was born and raised in Ann Arbor, MI. A tinkerer and creator ever since she can remember, she went on to earn her BFA in Metalworking and Jewelry Design, with minors in photography and sculpture. An MFA in photography soon followed, and after many years of doing everything but concentrating on creating, including stints as a hospital lab tech, a seller of camping, hunting, and fishing supplies, a figure skating instructor, a department store display artist, a seller of beads and jewelry supplies, and a purveyor of fine guitars, she is now currently employed at Wholefoods and is finally following her life-long dream to be a working artist. She is currently represented at the Heavenly Metal Boutique in Ann Arbor, the Eyrie in Ypsilanti, the Weasel & Fitz Gallery in Madrid, MN, and now at Yellow Door Art Market.How long have you been creating artwork?
I have been creating and making things ever since I can remember! In the fourth grade when I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, I replied "an artist, of course!". I was always drawing and painting, making doll clothes and dioramas for school. My favorite class was art. My grandmother was a silversmith, so I grew up watching her create her magnificent pieces. I took my first metalworking class in high school, and then went on to get a BFA from the University of Michigan School of Art in metalworking and jewelry design, with minors in photography and sculpture.What inspired you to start creating your art work & how did you turn it into a business?
After many, many years of doing everything but make a living but being an artist, I am finally at a point in my life where I can make creating my line of Taliswoman jewelry a priority. It is only natural when one amasses enough finished work to want to introduce it to the world at large; I have been steadily working step by step for the last two years, honing my vision and craft into my Taliswoman "brand".What do you love most about the creative process?
I LOVE the sense of surprise and discovery when many seemingly disparate elements all of the sudden come together almost by magic, to create the world. It is as if I am a conduit to something ancient and mystical that is trying to speak to the world and I get to bring it forth and give birth to it!What makes your art work unique or distinctive?
Being the fanatical observer of everything around me that I am, I look to nature, the human mark upon it and the wondrous process of birth, growth and decay. I filter these things through my mind, gather my materials and let my mind imagination take over. I rarely have a preconceived notion of what exactly I am going to do when I design; rather, I let my materials speak to me and I become a conduit for interesting juxtapositions of form, color and texture. I must please the eye as well as the hand; that is the inner sculptor in me coming forth. Each piece I create must have a sense of talismanic quality for me, as if by wearing it would connect one to the earth and it magical forces.
I have never really wanted to be anything but an artist, but also a "Renaissance woman", and a "Jill-Of-All-Trades"! I find so many things fascinating I can't narrow down in my mind that I should be any one thing, as I am ever-evolving.What do you enjoy doing besides making art work?
I love traveling and going on road trips to the Desert Southwest, camping, meeting other artists and travelers, playing guitar, singing and songwriting, photography, hiking, being outdoors in the summer, gardening and growing vegetables, and reading!
Quotes you love or live by:
"Poverty without creativity is deprivation".You can see much more of Susan's amazing organic jewelry at Yellow Door and online. Stay tuned for more fun & interesting facts about Sue all week!
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