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Golden Paper Bowl

By Susan Dwyer | Chicago, IL


The hand gold leafed interior of these paper maché bowls makes them almost glow. They look particularly beautiful in low light, surrounded by votives as the mainstay of a table centerpiece. Thin strips of paper are used to create the form and give it a lovely texture. The gold leaf is sealed so it is protected from normal wear and tear. The exterior of the bowl has a glossy protective finish.

  • Handmade in Chicago, IL
  • Small measures 1.5” tall, 4” diameter
  • Large measures 3” tall, 10” diameter
  • Sold individually
  • Not food safe
  • Please note: the shapes will vary slightly due to the the handmade process

Why We Susan

"Susan’s pieces are simple, fragile and intricate. We’ve really never seen anything like her paper bowls and they are totally unexpected"

About the designer
Susan Dwyer

Susan Dwyer

Chicago, IL

Like so many emerging artists, when Susan Dwyer graduated art school, she had no idea what she wanted to do. She began working as a studio assistant for various artists and soon developed a passion, “I knew that was the life for me,” she says. After the encouragement of friends, she started small by launching her first online shop - Up in the Air.

Susan lives and works in Chicago with her husband Ben, who is also her photographer and web designer for Up in the Air. Her ceramics and housewares are inspired by the beautiful forms found in industrial architecture.

“Water towers, warehouses, factories, and silos are abundant in Chicago and endlessly fascinating to me,” says Susan.

As far as her work goes, she approaches is as a sculptor rather than strictly a ceramicists, working in various different mediums (paper mache, ceramic, fiber, etc.)

“Though I went to art school, I didn’t study ceramics there. It wasn’t until I had an idea for a ceramic water tower that I decided to take a class at a local studio. Making things from this point of view allows me to be free to try strange techniques and make big mistakes. Oftentimes it’s the big mistakes that create something beautiful.”

Susan makes each piece one at a time without molds or castings. It’s labor intensive, but it’s an important part of her creative process.

“The saying “work creates work” is definitely true for me,” says Susan. “I’m inspired by my materials, and it’s only through asking questions like “what happens when I put this here?” or “what if I removed that part?” that I come up with something I like.”