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Susan Hamlet

As a young girl Hamlet was always making things in her father's basement workshop. She made small wood projects, did some leatherworking and generally did anything involving handcrafts. In high school she was editor of the yearbook and took an avid interest in photography. Hamlet also dabbled with ceramics and maintained an overall interest in art throughout her earlier education. Her first introduction to metals was during a one week workshop at Central Connecticut State Teacher's College in the summer of 1973. Afterwards she spent one semester with Earl Pardon at Skidmoore College in the fall of 1974. Hamlet spent two summer sessions with Sharon Church at Skidmoore college. From 1972 through 1976 she earned her B.A. Degree from Mt. Holyoke College in sculpture with a minor in art education. Hamlet studied with Fred Fenster and Mary Lee Hu at University of Wisconsin for one semester and studied with Gary Griffin for one and one half years at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She received her Master of Fine Art degree from R.I.T. in 1982.

Two teachers that clearly had a strong impact on Hamlet's thinking and development with jewelry and metals were Sharon Church and Gary Griffin. Church helped to initially foster Hamlet's love for metalsmithing and jewelry. Church provided Hamlet with support, attention and encouragement. Griffin challenged Hamlet to learn to think analytically. Hamlet recalls,

"Gary Griffin was a significant mentor because of his capacity to be provocative, requiring that one question, think critically and pursue ideas with a sense of purpose inclined toward making a statement."

Hamlet views her various teaching positions as valuable learning experiences. These professional experiences had an effect on concepts regarding her work. Other important life experiences also had a profound effect on her work.