I came to clay as a college freshman, intent on studying graphic design and was won over by the prospect of combining illustration with three-dimensional objects. My functional pots and sculpture draw inspiration from my life-long experiences in Montana and the West, my love of animals and interest in folk-art, vintage kitsch, western art and design. I want my work to bring character, spark memory, and promote storytelling while food and drink are being shared. A narrative lies within each piece that builds and flourishes with time and use.
Sue Tirrell was born and raised in Red Lodge, Montana; a small ranching and tourist community on the doorstep of Yellowstone National Park. She received an AA from Cottey College in Nevada, MO in 1995 and a BFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 1997. She has been a resident artist at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT; California State University, Chico; and the Custer County Art & Heritage Center in Miles City, MT. She has logged hundreds of hours teaching ceramics and multi-media workshops in community centers, college classrooms, convalescent homes and one-room schoolhouses. She currently lives, works and rides her pony on the banks of the Yellowstone River in Montana’s Paradise Valley.