Sue studied Archaeology at the University of Exeter and her early career was as a Finds Assistant for the Museum of London and then as an Archaeological Illustrator for what is now English Heritage. Her drawings of Anglo-Saxon finds in particular are published in many archaeological reports and publications. She studied jewellery making and many other traditional crafts in order to better illustrate artefacts and this led to a career writing many books on a wide variety of crafts.
Since 2016 she has returned to Archaeology and has been researching early medieval bead making, using her hot glass skills to better understand ancient techniques. She uses replica tools and soda lime glass to simulate ancient beadmaking techniques and has studied bead collections in many British museums to ensure her replicas are as authentic as possible. Millefiori beads are of particular interest because cane patterns can be traced across Europe. Sue has recently published several articles on her work and is currently working on a book to share her findings on hot glass beadmaking techniques in early medieval times.