Born in Atlanta Georgia in 1972, Suzanne Pugh began her metals and jewelry education in high school. She received a BFA from The University of Georgia, studying with Rob Jackson and Gary Noffke. Suzanne went on to study with Elliot Pujol at Kansas State University, where she earned her MFA. After graduate school, Suzanne lived and worked in New York, making custom fabricated pieces for designers such as Calvin Klein and Dansk. Ready to leave the city, Suzanne moved to North Carolina and worked as the Metals Studio Coordinator at Penland School of Crafts. During her seven years at Penland, Suzanne supported the work of hundreds of artists – from beginning metalsmiths to established international makers. Suzanne is now Associate Professor and Head of the Metal Arts Program at City College of San Francisco, a position she has held since 2007. Suzanne maintains an active studio practice in Oakland, California. Her work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally, and is held in private collections. In addition to her full-time teaching and studio work, Suzanne leads workshops in metalsmithing and jewelry. She has been a frequent guest instructor at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, California College of Art, UGA’s Cortona program, Revere Academy, Oregon College of Art and Craft, and Penland School of Crafts, among others. In her work, Suzanne is interested in material, metaphor and narrative, which she explores through surface patterning, line, drawing, and form – all in pursuit of works that balance a light touch on serious subjects.


Artist's statement:


Line drawings, sheet metal workers’ patterns, topographical maps, and blueprints; two dimensional renderings inform my current jewelry practice. I generate a variety of forms by scoring and bending flat sheet, or cutting through the sheet to reveal new edges and distinct intersections. In this investigation, steel, gold, sterling silver, and copper are combined in different ways to create new forms and patterns. This work has a relationship with architecture, sculpture, and industry, and addresses more formal aspects of design and function. I use jewelry making as a method of study, or meditation; focusing on texture, contrast, line, and mass allows me to expand my relationship with design.

Conversely, the focus of my current sculptural metalwork is much more narrative, relaying universal human experiences, emotions, or ideas through metaphorical objects. These objects allow me and my audience to consider an idea, to wrestle with unresolved problems, and to understand desires by unraveling the layers of meaning attached to each metaphor. Narrative has always held an important place in my work as it allows me to investigate content, form, and their relationship to each other, while delivering a message I find important enough to iterate.




b/w photo by Mercedes Jelinek

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