Posted at 2:20 p.m., Dec. 8, 2015

Pottery gallery to open in February

Courtesy of Sue Tirrell

Farm Stacks Platter:

Pottery with meaning.


This upcoming spring, potter and sculptor Sue Tirrell may offer Laramie County Community College new forms of art the college has yet to showcase.

It is a gallery work that won’t just be a wonder to the eye, but a way to communicate long-forgotten stories.

From Feb. 3 to March 3, “Sue Tirrell: Rural Route” will feature work with themes of the West and nature from her pottery and sculptures.

Tirrell hopes the gallery will allow people to communicate their imaginations while enriching their lives from taking in what they come to see.

About Sue Tirrell

Born in Montana and specializing mainly as a potter and sculptor, Tirrell originally enjoyed drawing, painting and making illustrations of animals, especially horses, at a young age. It wasn’t until her first year of college in the early 1990s at the all-women’s school Cottey College in Nevada, Missouri, that she knew working with clay was what she wanted to use.

“It just seemed there were more possibilities with clay,” she said about how working with clay allows her to draw and illustrate, but in a three-dimensional way. Tirrell not only saw clay as what she wanted to use but that she needed to use it as a way of expressing herself in her art.

After she graduated from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, which is where she received her bachelor of fine arts, she was awe-struck by the ceramic artwork she saw while housesitting for a neighbor. As she saw how her neighbors lived with such handmade items, she enjoyed seeing how the artwork enriched their lives, which inspired her to make a studio and do the same not only for herself but for others.

“There’s a part of me that just needs to make things,” said Tirrell, adding that it was the only thing she saw herself ever doing. “That is just the way I am wired.”

When looking at such ceramic artwork, Tirrel saw somebody else’s vision and interest, which spoke to her as a great way of communicating with people. If others found her work as important as she does, then that would enrich her life as an artist and also a collector.

As she has created decorative and functional art as well as sculptural work, she hopes that the diversity of her products causes people to tell or recall their own stories.

“I don’t necessarily make my work overt representations,” she said of how her work sometimes has been likened to age-old fairy tales or nursery rhymes. “I like to provide the characters and the framework for those stories to be told by my viewers, and I think that is really exciting.”