He trained at Camberwell Art College in London in the 1970s. The course encouraged an experimental approach rejecting the anglo-oriental tradition with its emphasis on wheel-throwing. Suttie preferred hand-building and was inspired by objects and forms from pre-industrial societies. His anthropomorphic vessels are part container and part figurative form, like strange objects from another world. He was one of the new generation of vessel makers creating work that was more personal and expressive and barely concerned with function although it made reference to function objects. His early death was a great loss to British ceramics.