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Estes Park, CO
I have always been a maker of things. My parents are from a long line of Appalachian craftspeople, and my childhood was spent learning from them. We made our clothes, Christmas presents, Christmas decorations, and countless knitted and crocheted and quilted and wooden craft projects. We grew much of our own food in a giant garden back of the house. Also in the back yard was a huge oak where Daddy built a tree house. It was my refuge, a place for reading, where my younger brother and sisters could not find me. That tree house is where my boyfriend proposed to me in 1965, and still, more than 50 years later, being outdoors is our favorite place – hiking and biking and camping and traveling the wild places of the earth.
I began working in clay 43 years ago, just after the birth of my youngest child. I loved the magic of functional pots emerging from spinning wheel. When I was taking classes for my Master's Degree at UNC, my work became more sculptural, but I still have a fascination with the functional.
While living in Bhutan, I discovered the tradition of Spirit Houses; before a house or a business is built, a small house is built, a place for the land spirits to live while the land is disturbed. My “Colorado Spirit Houses,” are inspired by that tradition, a place for rest, both metaphorical and spiritual.
My influences are family and nature and travel. It is my goal to create pieces that are evocative of an attitude of partnership and of reverence and mystery and devotion. I seek to create art that celebrates life with joy and beauty.
I create ceramic works of art with a subtlety of form, obvious function and delicate surface design. I strive to make pottery that brings elegance, sophistication, and merriment to the everyday. I am inspired by the Islamic textiles, quilting, stitching and old world French tea sets. I use repetitive shapes to create overall patterns, the lack of a defined focal point throughout a piece leads one to appreciate the work as a whole. From a distance these rhythmic patterns seem to be without flaws, but upon closer inspection slight imperfections of those patterns can be found. These flaws demonstrate a quality that only handmade items have.
I grew up like most people, never having held something hand-made. My life experiences now have me say: I believe that hand-made objects can help us as people, to know that thought, care, dedication and magic should be part of our daily lives, like the object we see, hear or touch. Pottery, like all of the arts, brings us closer to the magic of being human.
At the present time, I am living much of the year in Korea. It has had a big impact on everything I think about. The visual contrast, the culture, food, color choices – it is often overwhelming. The positive side is that I am reconsidering the pottery that I make; both the form and the application to functionality. Korea has a long history of fabulous ceramics. I see a wider range of colors within what was a single color- wow! look how many more greens and blues there are. I feel an extension of both boldness and of subtlety. The many side dishes for kimchee have brought to mind a variety of ideas. I am thinking of soy containers, soju cups, the many banchan dishes and small lidded jars. I look forward to making new an interesting vessels and containers.
My name is Danyelle and I have been working in clay since 2008. I attended the University of Northern Colorado where I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts, concentration in Ceramics. This is also where I met my husband, Jared, right next to me in our wheel throwing course! We live and work in our home studio in Greeley and are so thankful to have our work space and equipment right at home.
When I am not creating in clay you can usually find me making something else. I love to scrapbook, collage, sew, crochet, weave, and embroider. My love for fibers, textile, and crafts is a passion that has evolved into the themes of my ceramic work. I also love a good cup of coffee in the morning, reading my favorite blogs, an episode or two of my favorite shows, bartending at the Kress Cinema in downtown Greeley, and spending lots of time with my sweet family and dogs.
I grew up in Nebraska and went to college at the University of Northern Colorado. where I got my bachelor's degree in art and a teaching certificate. I studied ceramics with Herb Schumacher and Dick Luster. I went to graduate school at UNC and also took courses at Loretto Heights under Nan and Jim McKinnell. After graduate school, I set up my first studio in Greeley, Co. I have moved and expanded my studio three times, I have been making pots now for over thirty years and still live in Greeley. I make mostly functional porcelain pots. At one time I made about half of my work in non-functional earthenware. I do a lot of glaze testing and experimentation in an effort to keep my work looking fresh. I keep an optimistic outlook on my work and always believe that my next kiln load will be the best I have ever done.