Meet the Artists of EARTH ALCHEMY!

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Susan Retz is an architect turned watercolor painter based in Franconia. Born in Paris, France to American parents, she grew up in the DC area. Retz studied architecture at Case Western Reserve University, and went on to become a practicing architect for nearly forty years. When she retired she moved with her husband, Chuck Lovett, to Franconia, where she was drawn to the art community. She has studied drawing, painting, felting and clay at the Littleton Studio School, and has exhibited her work there, as well as at Ammonoosuc Community Health Services, Cold Mountain Café in Bethlehem and Catamount Arts in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Susan is active in her New Hampshire community through Moose Track Studio, where she paints, in watercolors, oil and acrylics; the Littleton Studio School, White Mountain Garden Club and WREN, where she is a member of the Board of Directors.

I am attempting to reinvent myself as an artist.  The act of creating pulls upon my heart which pushes me to the studio to work.  Inspired by the ever changing beauty of the North Country, I am pursuing my passion for color, light and nature. Every day brings transformation and a visual joy that I find fascinating.  Watching clouds move, the garden grow, and seasons change I’m learning to see with an artist’s eye the nature surrounding us.

 

Marghie SeymourMarghie Seymour has made a living as a farmer, a logger, the manager of the local landfill and recycling program, a solid waste planner, executive director of a small recycling non-profit, and a bankruptcy attorney, thought she now happily calls herself a potter. She skyrocketed to local pottery fame a few years back when she designed a simple garlic grater that ended up having a wide commercial appeal. She now makes them by the thousands and in turn they pay the bills, make a pottery studio a necessity, and provide an excuse to be muddy most of the time. It is also a job that allows her to spend half of each year in New Mexico, where most of her family has settled down and where the landscape offers ever-changing colors, patterns, and shapes that provide an inspiration never necessary to any of her other careers.
Marghie loves the look and feel of antique vessels and, in her recent work, strives to recreate the atmosphere and tactility of both functional and decorative pots and vases found in ancient cultures and in more simple modern ones.

After all, what more unlikely transformation can there be than to take a lump of wet mud and make it into a vessel, a whistle, a teapot, or a mug? And so, making things both useful and beautiful from handfuls of mud brings me a satisfaction I am both intimately familiar with and completely surprised by each time.  I love opening the kiln and seeing the end result of my work.  I love the feel of the pots I make, the endless surprises of texture and color, the heft and the curves and the solidity.  I feel connected to the earth and the past in my clay work and the more I do, the better the connection feels.

 

 

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