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Born in the U.S. in the late 1940's and then living in east Africa until 1960, Susan immigrated to Canada in 1974 and currently lives and works in her studio in the Rocky Mountains of Canmore, Alberta. She exhibits locally and internationally; her work is included in many corporate and private collections.
Susan began her art education at Everett College and completed her B.F.A. at the Alberta College of Art and Design. Susan has attended many conferences and workshops and teaches classes in glass, textiles, print making.
Her work is primarily sculptural in nature and is most often realized in glass. She utilizes the inherent properties of her medium to capture the essence of her images. The human figure, nature and the environment are frequent themes. Sources for ideas and concepts come from her life experiences and perceptions.
Susan Gottselig was commissioned by the Government of Canada to create the Woman of Vision Award and so the Celebration Figure was created as the original trophy design. The gestural representation of the human form reflects an expression of joy and celebration. The tall, linear figures capture the graceful beauty of the human figure and the movement and brilliant color of hot glass. Susan’s sculptural work seeks to release image and form from molten glass.
Each piece begins with the gathering of molten glass from a 2000-degree melting furnace onto a steel rod. Coloured shards, frits and powders are used to create the colour patterns. Clear glass is gathered over this, encasing the colour within. The arms head and gestural pose are then sculpted with hand tools. The process involves stretching and shaping the hot glass to the final form. When the sculpture is finished it is placed in an annealing kiln to slowly cool to room temperature over 16-30 hours. After annealing, each piece is cut, ground, polished and signed.
Displayed in groups, the figures convey the relationships of humankind one to another. Alone, a solitary figure symbolizes the individual identity of each of us.