Suzanne Ryan, Big Black Dog Studio
“I grew up in a multi-generational home with the mantra, “waste not, want not.” Recycling, re-using and re-purposing is a lifestyle for me, and I am very happy to be able to create sculptures using cast-off items and turning them into things that make people smile. Adopting a “second hand” pet comes naturally to me and speaks to certain fundamentals that define me as a person. I was raised to fix things, not throw them away. I look for the value in that which was discarded by someone else. I take the time to polish away the tarnish and uncover hidden beauty most people can’t be bothered to work that hard to find. I’m not just referring to the inanimate materials I use in my artwork.
I also strive to not judge animals or people on their appearance or on behaviors learned from the way life has treated them. Although not always reciprocated, if I weren’t willing to look past the superficial, I would risk missing what only time and effort could reveal to be treasured relationships built on trust, acceptance and sincere friendship.
My gifting is first and foremost as an encourager and empowerer of others. I try to put that into each custom pet sculpture, into every upcycled piece of furniture, and into each painting and design I create. I also hope it comes through in everything that I do.”