Combining ancient techniques with a contemporary sensibility, Susan Kadish creates timeless sculptures that are at once personal and universal. Often incorporating unusual elements such as metal, horsehair, beads, and rope into her pots, Kadish transforms the everyday materials around her studio into decorative flourishes that frame her ancient-inspired objects in an entirely modern context. She often employs thousand-year-old pottery techniques including hand building, raku, pit firing, and saggar firing, as well as various types of glazing that produce vivid hues and metallic finishes.
The daughter of a hat designer and niece of a high fashion designer, Kadish grew up with a keen sense for aesthetics, and from an early age, she was encouraged to trust her own creative instincts. Kadish studied fashion design at New York City’s prestigious Fashion Institute of Technology before turning to sculpture. Transitioning from wearable art to fine art, she worked primarily in stone, clay, metal, marble, and alabaster, moving seamlessly across media.
Wrought in powder blue stoneware, Kadish’s 3883 is the artist’s interpretation of the Buddha. The figures’ elongated earlobes, circular urna, and high top knot are auspicious symbols indicating his enlightened nature. Instead of a body dressed in humble robes, the Buddha’s head rests atop an orb covered in small birds. These birds, the only remnant of the natural world, serve as reminders that the Buddha was, like us, a human in search of nirvana.