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HARLANDER, Susan Michel (Suzanne)

Stuttgart, Germany, 1920
Ontario, 2005
Biography synopsis
Susan Harlander and her husband, who trained at the College of Ceramics in Landshut, Germany, moved to Brooklin Ontario in 1952 where they created the Brooklin Pottery Studio. In her early works she was influenced by Persian art. While her husband produced the pots, Susan Harlander decorated them with freehand sgraffito patterns, designs incised or scratched through the slip or glaze to the earthenware ground. The incised designs on Harlander pieces were integral to the form, displaying her understanding and knowledge of design aesthetics. The Harlanders added a new dimension to early Canadian studio pottery, introducing a distinct modernist approach that contrasted with the prevalent functional wares (such as those influenced by Bernard Leach and the early British studio pottery movement) made during this time period. Their pottery is held at Gardiner Museum (Toronto) and the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Susan Harlander was living in Mexico in 1995 where she wrote poetry and continued to paint.
Media used
File & Archive locations
Art Gallery of Ontario - Edward P. Taylor Research Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
Montreal Museum of Fine Arts / Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal, QC

Writings about
Theo and Susan Harlander: Brooklin Pottery, 1952-1987 : the Murray and Margaret Leslie Collection. Toronto, Ontario.: Waddington's Auctioneers, 2013
"German-born Husband, Wife to have Joint Ceramic Show." Montreal Star 21 Apr. 1964
"Harlander, Theo & Susan Harlander. Station Gallery. Whitby." Ontario Craft 27.1 (Spring 1996): 24
"Harlanders' Ceramics on View at Gallery." Whitby Free Press 13 Sept. 1995
"Work of Pottery Guild Is Travelling Far Afield." The Globe and Mail 18 Dec 1956
Elder, Alan Johnson, Jean and Melanie Egan. Crafting New Traditions: Canadian Innovators and Influences. Hull, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization, 2009
Gotlieb, Rachel. "Contemporary Ceramics." Canadian Encyclopedia Toronto, Ontario: Historica Canada (Proquest), 2019
Gotlieb, Rachel. "Married to Pottery: A Life of Uncertainty." Crafting New Traditions: Canadian Innovators and Influences. Gatineau, Quebec: Canadian Museum of Civilization Corporation, 2008: 15-24
Gotlieb, Rachel and Cora Golden. Design in Canada since 1945: Fifty years from Teakettles to Task Chairs. Toronto, Ontario: Key Porter Books, 2004
MacDonald, Colin S. The Dictionary of Canadian Artists. (Volumes 1-8 by Colin S. MacDonald, and volume 9 by Anne Newlands and Judith Parker) Ottawa: National Gallery of Canada, 2009.
McPherson, Anne. "Form and Fantasy: Ceramics by Theo and Susan Harlander." Ontario Craft 21.1 (Mar 1996): 24
Paulocik, Linda and Admira Nezirevic. Form and Fantasy: Ceramics by Theo and Susan Harlander Whitby, Ont.: Station Gallery, 1995
Prokopow, Michael. "Shelf Life: Museums Collecting Craft and Design." Studio 9.2, (Fall/Winter 2014): 54-57

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