About Susan Barrett Merrill


Fiber sculptor, author and teacher Susan Barrett Merrill attended Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts, studied art at the Aegean School of Fine Arts in Greece, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in education and art from Goddard College in Vermont, and received a graduate degree from New Experimental College in Jutland, Denmark.

Susan has been spinning and weaving since her early 20s. She is a self-taught weaver. She taught weaving and spinning at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Kripalu Center in Western Massachusetts.

She has taught weaving at the Alcyon Center for Spiritual Studies, at retreats for cancer survivors, and has taught a special weaving program to therapists who work with wounded warriors and trauma survivors. She has been artist in residence for two months at the Carriage House Gallery and for six weeks in 2015 at the Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast.

The unique mask weaving technique Susan uses came to her in a dream. She was shown how to weave faces, and when she awoke, she tried it on her loom.

Susan's fiber sculptures have been in two exhibitions at the Farnsworth Museum in Rockland, Maine (home of the Wyeth collection); at the Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME. She has had solo exhibitions at the Wenham Museum, Wenham, MA, and the White Gallery, Husson University, Bangor, ME.

Susan's masks were featured a dance performance tour in Sarajevo and the Republic of Georgia. A pair of masks titled Singing Into The Wind, were exhibited in the invitational International Fiber Biennale in Chieri, Italy, and are now in the permanent collection of the Chieri Museum. Chieri is an ancient weaving city, the source of the original blue denim.

Susan's articles on weaving and personal discovery, either as author or co-author with her husband, have appeared in Voices, the Journal of the American Academy of Psychotherapy; Handwoven, the foremost magazine for hand weavers, and Living Crafts magazine. She is a pioneer in the field of fiber arts education for people with disabilities, and has represented the United States at symposia on arts and disabilities in Kobe, Japan and Washington, D.C.