Sue Danielson of SuDan Design: Jewelry and Batik is our featured artist this week. She specialized in one-of-a-kind batik pieces, among many other things. We asked her to share a bit about herself. Enjoy!
My first batiks were created in a class at the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center in 1975 that was a Christmas gift from my husband, Earl. I had been making arts and crafts works all of my life, but the serendipity and surprise of this ancient Indonesian craft really inspired my imagination, much like photography and dark room work does. There's always something exciting, even magical, about seeing how the dyes have seeped into cracked wax, how the colors have combined, and ultimately, the excitement, surprise and delight when the wax is removed to reveal what has been created through the multiple steps of waxing and dying...it's like a butterfly emerging from a chrysalis!
After those initial classes, I quickly produced a wide-variety of batik items, including magical window hangings that glowed like stained glass, large framed abstract and pictorial wall prints, unique and unusual stuffed dolls and clothing. Unfortunately, back when dyes were not as permanent, it was difficult to sell batik items at a price that would reimburse my time and materials, as well as make some profit. So I took a hiatus from batik to focus on making a living; then on to loving and raising two wonderful daughters. While working full time as an office administrator, I encouraged my girls' own creative endeavors, which included demonstrating batik, as well as other arts and crafts. Later, when I was working as a human resources specialist at a community college adult education program, I began taking various art classes, including beaded and wire-wrapped jewelry. Another love was born! I couldn't stop, and once again produced a large inventory of items, purely for the love of creating beautiful pieces. Although I gave away most of the pieces I made to friends and family, I often sold things, and was encouraged and assisted by Sarah, my fashion and business savvy younger daughter, to create a batik and jewelry shop on Etsy. Still busy with my job and other commitments, I appreciated and trusted Sarah's design sense and marketing experience, and she assisted me in creating our SuDan Jewelry and Design shop in that massive global marketplace, where she worked as business manager until I retired from my college position in April of 2013.
I also create one-of-a-kind Rainbow Makers and Memory Keepers that are sold in the shop. These are joyful crystal ornaments that are assembled from cut glass prisms of various sizes and shapes that are strung on ribbon, wire or chain, and enhanced with jewels, metals, charms, ribbons, and bows. Many of these ornaments have a holiday theme, with vintage and personalized photos added. The crystals and beads catch and reflect light when hung in a sunny window, and cast colorful rainbows around the room. Personal photos of beloved people and pets may be added by custom request to flat backed glass prisms, and themed charms are often included to create special remembrance gifts for display in a window, car, or on a Christmas tree. I also make handmade photo and linoleum block print greeting cards which are available at the Boutique during the winter holiday season.
In addition to batik items such as scarves, clothing for babies, children and adults that I sell at Boutique 208, there are pillows, windows, wall hangings, and framed art in the works...and always a new design or product idea percolating in my brain!
I am happy to offer these original, handmade gifts at Boutique 208, and hope that the folks who stop by to visit this unique shop will be pleasantly surprised by the wide variety and ever changing assortment of unique batik clothing, a variety of scarves and other interesting items that are enhanced with batik designs.
I hope that Boutique 208 customers will love my designs as much as I love making them!
Stop in and check out Sue's beautiful work featured at the front of the Boutique from 2/24-3/2!