SKINNY was founded in 2018 as a place to explore design, art, and craft under one roof. SKINNY is a creative studio founded by Susan McKinney, and is a place to explore design, art and craft under one roof. Today, her ceramic and glasswork is known for its expressive, organic forms and uniquely woven style. Her work seeks to connect people to their own sense of wonder through objects that go beyond our everyday experience. Based in Marin, California, her handmade collections range from sculptural to functional objects, giving space for nature and creativity around the home.
All ceramic pieces are made by hand either in my home studio, or out of a collective studio in Sausalito. Currently my business is a one-woman operation with occasional collaborations with other ceramic, glass, and plant artists. While working between two locations can be difficult at times, I enjoy the flexibility of working at home, in nature, and the community aspect of working from a shared artist space or collaborating at other artists’ studios.
After over a decade designing products to be mass produced (often in the millions), my brand counters the fast-paced nature of the Bay Area tech world by creating slowly. Each piece is made by a process built off structure and serendipity, ensuring each work has a unique character, evidence of process and soul of the maker.
Handcrafted, hand woven, and glass blown. In general, I have a very inventive approach to process, and am always thinking about new ways to do traditional things.
Ceramics – Everything is made by hand, and some digital/modern tools are used to help create templates to quickly prototype patterns. I first create in Illustrator, then use the Cricut to cut out paper patterns for testing. Once I mockup in paper, I feel more confident to try with clay.
Glass – I work with a glassblower to blow glass through failed woven ceramic pieces, transforming the negative space into positive form. I like that the ceramic failures give life to something completely new and unexpected in glass.
I use local stoneware, and a variety of color design materials such as mason stain, slip, underglaze, and glaze to create my layered and textural surfaces. Supporting local suppliers is very important and all materials are bought from Bay Area businesses.