Friday, July 18, 2008

Studio Visit: Susan Pratt Smith & Gary Haven Smith

At the end of a long wooded driveway off a side road in Northwood, NH, there is a sunny clearing populated by lithe granite sculptures, an energetic terrier named Misty, and the home and studios of Susan Pratt Smith and Gary Haven Smith.

The wood-frame buildings, all built by Gary, are efficient and neat with lush flower boxes and plenty of windows. Behind the house is a stone-paved patio with a pretty koi pond and towering pink gladiolas. A large stone table rests beneath trellised wisteria.

It was here in this pleasant shady spot that Jae, my Dad, and I had an alfresco lunch with Susan and Gary on a recent July afternoon.

Susan works in glass, creating pieces as elaborate as church windows and as tiny as a pair of earrings. Working in a highly technical medium like glass requires equal measures of craftsmanship and artistry, and Susan is generously gifted with both. Her work can be expressive and personal, or it can be skillfully built to an architect’s specifications. In either case, it is always very beautiful, and she is constantly busy with new commissions and orders.

Pictured here is a stained glass door Susan was commissioned to make for a local family, and jewelry available at Greenjeans. Our Webshop offers a limited selection; contact us for more. Larger pieces are available by commission.

In the adjacent studio, Gary transforms huge granite stones into lyrical sculpture. The rocky New Hampshire terrain provides an endless supply of raw materials, and with the aid of computer models and an impressive stone carving rig, he shaves and carves rough rock into supple works of art. (My favorite forms are the impossibly thin curls my Dad aptly described as granite apple peels.)

Gary's work may be found at Reeves Contemporary in NYC and McGowan Fine Art in Concord, NH, as well as in many public and private collections.

After our long lunch, I roamed around and took some pictures to share with you… Thank you, Susan and Gary!

Click here to view the entire Virtual Studio Visit...

Posted by Amy Shaw for Greenjeans.
Images by Amy Shaw except picture of the stained glass door, sourced here.

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