For the last twenty-five years, Susy Siegele and Mike Haley have worked together in a partnership that has proved to be greater than the sum of its parts.

Our ideas bounce back and forth through each of our personal filters, sometimes gathering energy and feeling, turning into something good, and sometimes being dropped by the wayside, but always working toward some nebulous ideal piece of work that will speak with eloquence.

Their method of working with clay involves layering different colors of clay into loaves which, when sliced like bread, reveal carefully constructed patterns in the clay. Each slice from a loaf will be shaped into a piece of pottery. The twenty or so colors they mix are all based on the same porcelain body, which is a wonderfully vitreous and durable medium for functional work.

The colors we use come from naturally occurring oxides, but depend on our firing technique for their richness. At around 1600ºF, we begin stoking our propane and wood kiln with ceder splits, and continue firing with both gas and wood for another six or eight hours unti the temperature in the kiln reaches 2380ºF. Splitting wood and stoking the fire for intense periods is like meditation; it keeps us in touch with the extreme physics, craftsmanship and magic necessary to make high-fired porcelain.

The inspiration for our work comes from many sources; aboriginal rock art, old quilt patterns, M.C. Escher's drawings,the landscapes and natural wonders of the world around us.


The White House Collection of American Crafts

by Michael W. Monroe, et al (Hardcover - April 1995)

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