Suzanne Connor is a 4th generation NH fiber artist who has created an original line of textile art. Currently, she works in two distinct collections. Inspired by a magic lady, Christina’s Ocean is a collection of sea life created using an original technique developed by the artist. Preservation of the world's oceans is critical to the survival of many species, including man. Suzanne chose fish, seals, turtles, corals, seagrass and much more to highlight the variety of creatures in the underwater habitat.
Ripple Rainforest, Suzanne's newest collection was inspired by her husband, award winning songbird carver Wes Ripple. In watching him work, Suzanne was fascinated with feather textures, layouts and colors. She decided to work with birds and other creatures found in the Amazon Rainforest to highlight their amazing colors and diversity, as well as bring awareness to the need for conservation and species preservation.
All of these exclusive pieces are built on wool/rayon with high quality 100% cotton fabrics. Every single one is individually hand cut, appliqued for distinction, and intricately detailed with delicate rayon threads using a technique similar to free motion stitchery. A layer of exceptionally heavy stabilizer is custom cut for every piece and then the piece is backed with another layer of wool/rayon. The layers are then stitched together and the edges are cut by hand. Finally, velcro hook dots are applied to the finished back. Completed pieces are then packaged with corresponding velcro loop dots and instructions for hanging.
All pieces are sold separately. Prices start at $30. Pieces are priced according to size and complexity. The artwork attaches to the wall with Velcro, and all Velcro necessary for hanging is included with every purchase. No nail holes in the wall!
Suzanne feels strongly that the art in your home should be a personal expression, and the flexibility of her collections allow you to design a distinct artwork customized to your home or corporate environment. The versatility of her work lets you fill a wall or create a unique small space of art – any way you choose!
Suzanne recently spoke with Jennifer Crompton of WMUR's NH Chronicle about the Christina's Ocean Collection.
”This artist’s life I’ve led has been such an unexpected gift.
To document my journey, I have written two small books (I like to call them fairy tales for adults). The first, “The Legend of Christina’s Ocean”, tells the tale of a most magical lady who inspired me more than she will ever know.
The second book, “The Legend of Jen’s Hummingbird” talks about dealing with a cancer diagnosis using art, and a very talented storyteller who challenged me to keep creativity alive, even in the darker days.”
Suzanne Connor learned to sew from her maternal grandmother over 50 years ago. She is at least the fourth generation of textile artists in her family, whose members include couture dressmakers, crewel embroiderers, weavers, rug hookers, knitters, and of course, quiltmakers. She states, “For as long as I remember, I have been drawn to and fascinated by color. In looking back, I think that my concept of myself as an artist was formed unconsciously at about age 3 or 4. When I was a child, my Pepere came to our house every Sunday morning to play with me. Often we would color with crayons, discussing color choices and lines.”
“I learned to sew from my Memere (maternal grandmother) at age 9, and discovered that I loved the feeling of fibers and threads, the fascinating magic of clothing construction. As a teenager, I made many of my own clothes. I was partial to deep, clear color, and worked extensively in Indonesian batik prints.”
In the mid 70s Suzanne was site manager for a small Family Planning program in central NH, and left that position to take an A.S. degree along with the valedictory Dean’s Citation from NH Technical Institute. The path seemed clear. She would return to working in human and women’s rights, a community advocate at the local level.
Shortly after her graduation from college, her favorite great-aunt, Dora, insisted that Suzanne learn to quilt. Not crazy about the idea, but very fond of Dora, Suzanne agreed. And her path changed with the quilt’s completion. “I take no credit for it. It chose me.” is Suzanne’s explanation of the career shift. “It was a gift from my family.”
Sold exclusively through juried shows and select galleries since 1983, Suzanne’s work is now found throughout the United States and Canada, as well as in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. She is a state juried member and juror of the League of NH Craftsmen, the oldest professional craft organization in the United States. Although her work has won awards and recognition, Suzanne considers it her greatest honor that people on five continents have welcomed her work into their homes for over 35 years.
“From my grandparents, I learned that art was an emotional human connection, as well as a visual experience. It is my wish to share my love of color - and life - with everyone who owns my handmade pieces. Enjoy!”
Coloring with Pepere'.