Susan Blubaugh is a retired public school teacher, guidance counselor, and Episcopal priest who recently moved to the Pacific Northwest from Lafayette, IN. Susan’ foray into art began over 20 years ago with a venture into pysanky and batik egg art when she purchased a pysanky (pea-son-kee) kit for her children. Susan’s eggshell designs are often inspired by traditional Ukrainian patterns. Other inspirations come from southwestern Native American pottery designs, Wedgewood Jasper Ware, Cosmati marble floor inlay (found in Italian medieval churches), and her imagination. Chicken eggs, both white and brown, provide the usual “canvass” for the art. However, Susan also uses quail, duck, goose, emu, rhea, and ostrich egg shells.
After moving to Washington and settling in a small town, Morton, in the west Cascade valley, Susan began working with alcohol inks on ceramic tiles. Unlike the pysanky and batik eggs which require control and precision, the designs created with alcohol inks are, literally, free flowing. Susan’s “Spirit Scapes,” created for display purpose only, are abstract or representational designs suggesting landscapes. Creating a Spirit Scape is an intuitive process that uses no brushes or pre-planned sketches. Coffee stirrers, drinking straws, expired credit cards, and other every-day items are used to move the inks and create designs on the ceramic surface. Susan’s designs are inspired by the mountains, trees, lakes, palisades, rivers, and other geologic and natural features of the Pacific Northwest.