Meet Susan Boardman—an extremely original needlework artist who has taken Nantucket for her muse. Susan has been embroidering as long as she can remember. Her mother taught her when she was five years old. She is the great-granddaughter of a Swiss embroiderer who came to the United States to pursue his trade. After graduating from UMASS Amherst in 1968, she became serious about needlework as a form of self-expression. She enrolled in a course offered by the Nantucket School of Needlery. She then went on to earn a masters degree from Simmons College, Boston, in education with an emphasis in textile arts. She later took an Advanced Professional Study certificate at the American Institute of Textile Arts at Pine Manor College, where she also served on the faculty.
Susan moved to Nantucket in 1993 as a year round resident and began making her "embroidered narratives" while exploring the lives of ordinary and illustrious Nantucket women as preserved in the journals and letters in the archives of the Nantucket Historical Association. She continues to discover and be inspired by the rich texture of island lives, architecture and events in her work. Through a familiarity with her subjects' words, she developed an intimacy with their lives that has inspired her exquisite designs.