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To prepare for a Summer exhibition of members’ work at Maine Fiberarts, we have been visiting artists’ studios. It had been a while since I visited the studio of Susan Carlson, so we were amazed to come upon “Crocodylus Smylus,” the newly-completed life-size twenty foot long saltwater crocodile she calls Stevie.
The piece was completed in 2015 in time for a show at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts. It has also traveled with her to Melbourne, Australia where she taught classes. You can read the story of the piece and see a time-lapse movie about its creation on her website.
Susan and her husband Tom have created a new studio for her work in Harpswell and the building is filled with color. Art quilts, fabric, Chinese lanterns, Berninas, books, a leopard rug, a mobile made of bats, comfy chairs, one cat, and the croc are a feast for the eyes. Susan creates work and teaches in this studio. She also maintains a rigorous traveling schedule that has her teaching throughout the US and the world. Between teaching, making quilts, writing books, taking occasional commissions, exhibiting work and hosting retreats, both she and her husband are busy!