Getting to Know Susan K. Barker


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How did you get started making art? As a descendant of two artists, John H. Twachtman and Worthington Whittredge, a creative spirit is a family tradition. Worthington Whittredge spent his summer in nearby Tiverton Four Corners, RI. I started working with silver in the late 70’s and was inspired again in 2006. It was after a bead show with my daughter Nina and I realized I could forge small, intricate silver pieces and combine glass beads and create unusual necklaces.

What influences your art? My study as a horticulture judge has brought me a tremendous depth of knowledge of all flower and leaf forms which guide me in my necklace designs. Also living by the sea, I understand marine life and the different fish and am able to capture what I see. 

What do you hope someone takes away from experiencing your art? A smile on ones face when they look in the mirror and see a “Susan Barker necklace” around their neck.

Please tell us about your process: I buy my silver in large sheets which I saw into various shapes. The final steps are to engrave numerous fish scales, delicate feathers, or tiny veins on the different silver pieces. Then I go over to my bead table of over1000 beads and start creating a necklace. I concentrate on the theme of the silver design and add different shaped and colored beads. Adding clasps in the final step.

What inspires your work? I have two studios with different surroundings. The summer by the sea and the fall and winter in the mountains.

When do you create your art? What is your studio practice? I work about three days a week and create about 100 necklaces a year, plus I make about two dozen silver earrings. My daughter Nina makes the bracelets. She is able to take a flat piece of silver and with heat and controlled blows of her hammer form an amazing bracelet. 

How long have you been a member of SCA? I have been a member since 2006.

Do you have any upcoming exhibits?

  • South Coast Artists Tour July 20 -21, 2019 
  • South Coast Artists Tour August 17 -18, 2019
  • NH Monadnock Art Tour October 12 -13, 2019 

How can people find your work? I do not sell my jewelry in stores. I will gladly show my jewelry if someone contacts me. Please visit my website for details: www.susanbarker.com

Contact Information:

Phone: 603 209 5755 (best to email me)

Email: susan43barker@gmail.com

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