As a child, Sue Armbrust enjoyed making mud pies. Sue is still playing with “mud”, exploring her artistic side with clay.
“I feel blessed being able to have the opportunity to relive that childhood joy of putting my hands into the clay,” she said.
Her journey into the world of pottery began after she retired from public service with Pinal County. She was driving to the post office in Oracle when she saw a sign in front of the Oracle Union “Rock” Church that said “Come Play in the Clay”. She assumed it was for children but when she looked into it, it included anyone.
Sue enrolled in the class which was taught by Oracle clay artist Carol Mahoney. Sue said she “will always be grateful” to Carol for what she learned. Sue also took a workshop with Jenny Mendes, which reminds her to create pieces that connect her heart, mind and hands.
“I’m often inspired by animal life, historical buildings and the ‘what if’ when it comes to color,” Sue said.
Sue is also inspired by the beauty she sees when traveling. One of her totems has images of a lighthouse, a sea gull, dolphin and other marine life which was influenced by a trip with her husband along the Oregon coast.
One of the historic buildings that inspired her was the Rock Church. Sue made a model of the church using clay and rocks. She incorporates glass, beads, mosaics, and found objects into her works of art. Animal totems are used in some of her pieces. Some of the items she creates are hand sculpted bowls, mugs, ring dishes, soap dishes, appetizer & relish dishes, boxes, wall hangers, animals, angels, luminaries, standing and hanging totems and Raku fired pieces. She does custom orders.
Sue and her husband Kevin have lived in Oracle for 23 years. They love the rural lifestyle.
“The value and beauty of art is in the eye of the beholder. It’s important to me that my art brings joy to its owner. And of course, every clay person that I have known has said that ‘it is cheaper than therapy’. I believe that to be true,” Sue said.
Sue’s art was recently at the Holiday Market in Oracle. A sampling of her creations can be seen at the Oracle Visitors Center gallery on American Avenue. Her Mudd Pie Café studio is open by appointment. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (520) 449-0183.
Sue will also be a featured artist in the annual Oracle Artist Studio Tour April 7 and 8.
This self guided tour allows visitors to see where the art is made and meet the artist. Tour hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day and will feature 44 artists. Stop at the Welcome Center, 1470 W. American Ave. Oracle, for your tour map and view samples of the artist work. You can plan your exciting day, or two, of exploring Art and the wonderful town of Oracle by just following the purple signs through town to each destination. Visit the website for a slide show of the artist work. www.oraclestudiotour.com
The work, all original and hand made, offered for sale by the artist, is wide ranging and eclectic. It includes paintings in oil, watercolor, acrylics and encaustic, jewelry with beads, leather, and silver, ceramics-functional and decorative, wall hangings, photography, woodwork, iron sculptures, glass-work, collage, artwork with gourds, musical instruments and even handmade bee houses.
You do not want to miss this fun and exciting event.