Article fron the Sedona Red Rock News written by the Editor.
Artist James shares heads and tales of elemental dragons
Come to the Literate Lizard on Saturday, March 23, for a little inter-dimensional fun with dragons when author, potter and illustrator Susan Smith James and her lively crew of elemental dragons make their debut in Sedona.
James’ elemental dragons embody energy, such as the Sun Dragon, the Moon Dragon or the Night Dragon, and each is represented by a clay vessel, head or sculpture, painstakingly and lovingly created by her. They are kind and inclusive; they love reading and throwing a great party. Meet them all, and a few mermaids too, in James’ book “Dancing Dragon Magic: Dialogues in Clay.”
James will offer a book reading and dragon viewing for children at 2:30 p.m. at the Literate Lizard, 1575 W. SR 89A, Suite D. At 6 p.m., come join in a discussion that kids of all ages will love, followed by book signing and a chance to meet the dragons.
Also on March 23, James and her dragons will wing their way to Sedona Arts Center, 15 Art Barn Road, for a journal writing class from 1 to 3:30p.m.
James is an artist, who lives on a farm in southern New Jersey. She spent many years as an award-winning, full-time potter. She found that the responsibilities of raising her two sons and caring for the farm, with her husband, took up all of her time. Working in clay became more of a wish than an actuality. When her youngest son went off to college, she found that dragons were tapping on her shoulder, asking her to construct pots of them. After she had made several dragon vessels, they began sharing their conversations with her, and the beginnings of “Dancing Dragon Magic: Dialogues in Clay” took shape.
After having been introduced to clay in High School, Susan went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, concentrating in ceramics and jewelry. With that knowledge, Susan opened and operated her own gallery, where she sold her pottery and jewelry as well as the works of other local artists. She was included in the “Fourth Biennial of New Jersey Artists” held at the State Museum. She was also featured in “Ergo Ego”, a traveling exhibit of self-portraits. Her entry included a mermaid’s tail and a dragon, which seem as much a part of her being as her own face. This may explain why, many years later, she picked up her work by creating a series of dragon vessels and wrote a story occurring on a planet inhabited by dragons and mer-people.
Susan teaches the children at the local grade school about pottery making once a year, so that they may grow up to love clay as much as she does.
“Although I am happiest in my studio with my hands in clay, the dragons want to take off and fly all over the world, so here I go, to tell their story. ‘Be seen’, I keep hearing, and so I am.”, says Susan