Susan O'Malley has been an artist and educator for years, embracing the ethnobotany of Hawaii and its Pacific Rim influences. In the 1970s, her materials of choice were naturally dyed yarns and wools. Then she experimented with hand-built ceramics, batik and felt sculptures. It wasn't until the early 90s that her interest in handmade paper and dyes developed under the guidance of Marilyn Wold, Betty Oliver, Mina Takahashi. Susan's paper sculptures have evolved from large scale screens to 3-D sculptures under glass and mobile creations. Given the technical skill and chemistry involved in creative papermaking, Susan's pieces are a mix of science, botany, history and art.
Upon retiring from teaching in September, Susan was selected for an artist residency at Anderson Center in Red Wing, Minnesota where she continued exploring her current interest in honeycomb sculptures and black walnut vegetable dyes. This past fall, Susan was accepted into juried exhibitions in Cleveland and the annual Hawaii Craftsmen in Honolulu.
Susan now lives in Ocean View, Hawaii. She is the mother of two daughters and grandmother to six children. Susan is ever a student and always a teacher.