At a time when the world’s news is filled with hardships, fearful concerns, negativity, and divisiveness, I have committed my art to the uplifting of the human spirit and as an emanation of optimism. It is my hope that each work of art I create will take its beholders away from the darkness of our times and bring them into a world of light— whether it is through my lithophanes, the use of bright and colorful glazes against luminescent backgrounds, or explorations of the properties of light and shadow.
-- Stephanie Osser
Stephanie Osser works from her studio in Needham, MA. She became a book/editorial illustrator, and then illustrator in porcelain, stoneware. She began her career while in graduate school for ceramics at the University of Montana, working for the Anthropology and Wildlife Departments illustrating research papers.The New England Aquarium, Boston, hired her as their staff illustrator for exhibits. Then there were collaborations with art directors and designers for non-fiction children’s books, textbooks, and adult trade books with major publishers. Cookbooks by famous chefs, gardening books, and editorial food illustrations for the New York Times and the Boston Globe built her illustration portfolio.With her specialty in food still-life and step-by-step instructional illustrations showing hands making food recipes, she was hired to illustrate puppets and crafts. This included a fun stint working with the artists and crafts people who created those charming Muppet characters, at Jim Henson Associates. Osser then brought her two-dimensional illustration to 3D ceramics, working in porcelain and stoneware, reusing many of her copyrighted book illustrations. Architectural ceramics, in-glaze transfer-ware decals, and lithophanes (back-lit translucent porcelain imagery), have become ceramics specialties. For Babson, Olin and Wellesley College students, she managed their ceramics studio and gave workshops. Awarded a grant, she and the students made ceramic murals celebrating green energy and sustainability on their campuses. More knowledge/inspiration was obtained at ceramic residencies: Guldagergaard, Denmark; Kecskemét, Hungary; Medalta, Canada, Watershed in Maine, and the Ceramics Program Office for the Arts at Harvard University.Her ceramics have been included in a long list of juried ceramic exhibitions. She has works included in permanent collections at The Statue of Liberty Ellis Island Museum, The International Museum of Dinnerware Design, the Blair Museum of Lithophanes, the Red Star Line Museum, Antwerp, Belgium, and the Needham Historical Society.Commissions, and teaching her techniques in workshops with children and adults give her joy. Music, and singing in a classical chorale and a swing band, her other passionate pursuits, inspire her work.