Susan Humphrey, Stained Glass Artist
Seeking to immortalize the beauty of nature with fluid, defined lines of solder and the depth, texture and luminescence of art glass, Susan (Sue) Humphrey is inspired by both the literal and figurative aspects of the natural world. She spent much of her childhood in New York on Lake George and Northern Pennsylvania woods climbing trees, hiking mountains and learning to love all of the wildlife living around her.
Sue’s Grandmothers were both intensely creative women, and imparted to her the delightful satisfaction of using both imagination and handiwork to bring concepts to reality. She learned how to knit, sew and sketch at a young age and has always felt unsettled with idle hands.
Sue earned her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Industrial Design from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2002. After years of larger company employment and the realization that she didn’t “fit” into corporate culture, Sue left to find creative fulfillment and work with her hands to build a personally meaningful life. She began her professional career in Portland, Oregon and now practices her stained glass craft in Baltimore, Maryland. She desires to combine her affinity for the outdoors and her highly sensitive personality traits to design works which explore her passions and spark enthusiasm in others.
When she isn’t breaking glass in her basement studio, Sue can be found knitting, reading, learning new crafting techniques, or hiking and birding locally. Her artistic influences include Charley Harper, Georgia O’Keefe and Frank Lloyd Wright.
The natural world is an alluring thing of vibrance and quiet inspiration. A journey through the woods is a salve for the senses - insects and seed pods navigate the breeze, tree bark textured, strong, and real under fingers, bird song refreshingly sweet to the ear, the earthy scent of last year’s leaves in decay underfoot. It all nourishes my soul.
I regularly hear complaints about wildlife inconveniencing our lives with its attempts to adapt to the environment we have created. Birds nest on the side of houses, under overhangs, and in roof gutters where there once was forest. Foxes antagonize the neighborhood dogs as they hunt their native territory-turned-manicured yard. Bats and rodents end up inside attics and basements as they follow their instincts to roost and burrow. As we constantly disrupt the landscape and remove native habitat to suit our ever complicated lives, our neighboring animals and plants must change or die to continue their existence.
I possess a deep well of empathy for those who cannot speak for themselves, and am greatly saddened by the lack of regard some show for the species we displace. I use that sensitive energy to form my thoughts and then translate them into glass, copper, and solder. I place focus on the purity and energy of each subject by employing simple lines while staying true to life in detail and form.
Humankind has been gifted with the ability to be mindful in planning for the future. We also have a clear responsibility to respect, protect, and accommodate the plants and animals who have always lived alongside us. I hope to use the innate grace and intensity of glass to capture attention and inspire reverence, curiosity, and action to preserve the subjects of my work.