Children's Toy & Media Reviews Since 1978

Susan Eaddy’s Beautiful Clay Illustrations

Tide Pool by Susan Eaddy for Click Magazine from Seven Impossible Things
Tide Pool by Susan Eaddy for Click, via Seven Impossible Things

Susan Eaddy is an illustrator who uses three-dimensional clay sculptures to make detailed and imaginative two-dimensional illustrations for children’s books and magazines. Her work was recently featured on the excellent blog Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, which delivers in-depth coverage of the world of picture book illustrations and the artists who create them.

Though Susan Eaddy has plenty of experience as an illustrator, she still approaches her work with a sense of experimentation. When speaking to Jules, author of Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast, Susan said: “One of the reasons I love the clay so much is that I don’t quite know how to do it! So I am forever problem-solving and always amazed when my picture starts to come to life.” As a result, her illustrations display a liveliness that belies how much time goes into crafting each one. Her simplest ones have a handmade look that will inspire young children to think “I could do that!”, while her most complex work will have parents marveling at their apparent craftsmanship.

For those who would like to explore Eaddy’s work and creative process, the artist offers several making of videos. Below, Eaddy documents the creation of a relatively simple pancake-themed scene for the Parents’ Choice Award winning magazine Babybug.

Her detailed sculpting will inspire any child fan of Play-Doh. Look at the textured seafoam green walls, the pancakes sculpted and placed one at a time to appreciate Eaddy’s expertise. Even the chef hats worn by her cat and dog characters are lovingly crafted piece by piece.

Eaddy has also shared a video documenting the creation of the complex tide pool illustration featured in this post.

You can see in this video that her clay illustration work begins with a pencil sketch, over which all of her clay pieces are fitted. Once her sketch is complete, Eaddy lays down the background clay for the scene, which in this case includes a wavy, sherbet colored sunset made from textured clay. She then shapes the characters who will star in the illustration. Bumps, claws, eyes, and fins all receive careful attention. Finally, Eaddy places each element into its final position. As you can see in the video, the artist fiddles with each character until everything looks perfect.

To see more of Susan Eaddy’s work, visit her portfolio page or her YouTube channel. Eaddy also sells prints of her illustrations on Etsy. Thanks again to Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast for drawing our attention to these fabulous clay artworks.