A Portfolio of Dragon Pottery by Susan Smith James

An earthenware vessel sculpted to look like a dragonThe Smoke Dragon, earthenware

Susan Smith James is an artist who works in clay (among other media) producing pots, vessels, and other works of pottery inspired by dragons. Each of Susan’s dragon pottery pieces is unique and packed with personality.

A half-moon vessel in the shape of a dragonQuarter Moon Dragon, earthenware, silver leaf, rose quartz


It’s lovely to be able to see so many examples of Susan’s dragon pottery together in a single portfolio. Each pot seems to have its own unique persona, and the dragons are different enough that it’s easy to believe the artist was inspired by a real creature, and sculpted each work through observation. The artist has also created a book, Dancing Dragon Magic: Dialogues in Clay that provides more insight into the source of her inspiration.

A screen capture of Dancing Dragon Magic, Susan Smith James' portfolio websiteSusan's portfolio website, Dancing Dragon Magic


Though the appearance of the dragons varies from vessel to vessel, there’s a sense of smooth, clean movement that’s consistent throughout Susan’s portfolio. Her vessels and sculptures eschew hard angles in favor of smooth curvature. Some dragons have pronounced scales that produce a satisfying sense of tactility for the vessel in question, and Susan’s painting treatments lend each work its own unique colour and pattern.

A sculpted dragon headCoral, earthenware

Written by: Dallas Jeffs
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