Meet an Artopian: Ron Sutterer

artopia2016-bio-SuttererRobHow has your artistic style changed over time?
Because I started ceramics at a later time in life, I have experimented with various forms and firing types. Over time I have been able to narrow the focus to some extent, but I still enjoy exploring. I have been naturally drawn to the beauty of ash glazes and have tried to develop forms that are compatible with that type of glazing. In addition, I have discovered that you have to pick your battles and therefore have eliminated some aspects that did not maintain my interest.

Who or what is your biggest inspiration as an artist?
That is a difficult question because there have been many influences on my development as a potter. Richard Aerni, a studio potter in Rochester, New York has always been an inspiration for me, his forms are refined and his glazing sets a standard for my interest. In addition, I’m very fortunate to live in an artistic rich environment of Floyd, Virginia. I have received so much encouragement and technical support from local potters and Richard Hensley been been a mentor. I often refer to myself as his “elderprentice”.

What piece of your own artwork are you most proud of?
I make platters meant for hanging or serving as a center piece for the table. These are typically glazed with multiple glazes including an ash glaze to create a flow pattern across the surface. I think of these as a canvas with the glazes as a color palette. The degree of success varies but every so often a real winner emerges from the kiln….that’s what we live for.

If you had one superpower, what would it be, and why?
I have no clue!

If you could meet one famous artist (alive or deceased), who would it be?
Probably Vincent van Gogh.

Contact Rob at

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