From her studio in Mebane, North Carolina, Susan Jo Milne Hope creates kiln formed design elements such as lighting, tiles, and windows, as well as freestanding and wall hung art panels, functional objects, hand woven textiles and paintings. Her most current works are pictorial cast glass sculptures.
Susan is a founding member and president of Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, a member owned and operated art gallery in Hillsborough, NC. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and has a certificate in Botanical Illustration from the University of North Carolina. Glass techniques have been studied in workshops under instructors such as Dan Fenton and Deborah Coombs-Riddle.
As the shepherd of a flock of sheep she creates a multitude of fiber arts and textiles. Using a spinning wheel, she produces yarns which are the basis for the weaving of her naturally colored or hand dyed rugs, blankets and shawls.
Susan’s artwork is displayed at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts, Hillsborough, NC, the North Carolina Crafts Gallery in Carrboro, NC and is also available at her home studio, Everhope Design Studios during the annual Alamance Artisans Studio Tour, the Orange County Artists Guild Open Studio Tour and by appointment. She teaches classes in kiln formed glass as well as spinning and weaving in her studio and the local area.
Kiln-formed glass, sometimes called fused or warm glass, is done in a kiln much like a ceramics kiln. Sheets of glass are cut and arranged together, then fused to about 1500 degrees. Crushed and powdered glass, copper, brass, glass threads, and other materials are sometimes introduced. Shaped pieces such as light fixtures, functional dishes and vases are slumped over molds after a preliminary flat fusing.
“My art work explores texture, pattern and color…and it is the light and reflections, the interplay of colors upon each other that so inspires me whether it is in glass, pencil, soft silk or wool.” says Susan. “My experience as a mother of five, shepherd and weaver strongly influences the heart of my work. Life is a rich tapestry and all things are woven together to create the structure , the pattern we live in. I find inspiration in the vast farming landscape of the rural countryside, the beloved and often overlooked animals that co-inhabit our lives …and the Appalachian Mountains, which particularly hold my heart. It is imperative that I make things…it is a critical part of my existence that I capture the essence of this fleeting miracle we call life – in glass, on paper or in fiber.”