This year’s ornament, Pitter Patter, was created by Sussy-Rose Shields, who has been a juried member of the League since 1988. Sussy, a metal artisan, created a whimsical Rhodium-plated metal elf boot with etched and silkscreened details. Her design represents the elfin people that make and deliver gifts, create mischief, and bring joy.
Sussy works in her studio in Wilton. “Metal is my obsession. I relish the challenge of applying pattern and form to sheet and wire to create jewelry that speaks to the heart and soul of an individual,” says Sussy. “Often the resulting finished piece is quite different than the idea I begin with, as the metal and the spirit guide the process.”
Born in Oklahoma City, OK, Sussy was the child of active-duty US Air Force personnel and lived in many different places, attending 13 schools during her childhood. While she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Housing and Interior Design from Oklahoma State University, it was metals and jewelry making that fascinated her. She taught herself how to make jewelry, and has been doing just that since 1975. She worked as a bench jeweler in an Oklahoma jewelry store for several years, and then started her own business making custom design jewelry. She honed her techniques by taking professional development workshops at Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, and the Arrowmont Craft Center and Appalachia Center for Fine Craft, both in Tennessee. She also taught jewelry making at an art center in Stillwater, OK and at Oklahoma State University.
In 1987, Sussy moved to New Hampshire, and taught jewelry making for a high school career program in Wilton and at the Sharon Arts Center. In 2000, she earned a Master’s Degree in Environmental Education from Antioch New England Graduate School in Keene, focusing on sustainable environmental education and Native American studies, which added inspiration to her craft.
Sussy became a juried member of the League in 1988, and was involved in organizing the original CraftWear exhibition and The Shop at the Fair at the Annual Craftsmen’s Fair. She continues to teach jewelry making to teens and adults, and provides mentoring to other craftspeople.
Buy the 2016 Annual Ornament now or at one of our 8 fine craft galleries located throughout New Hampshire.