"I want my work to enhance and enrich those simple little experiences of life - like the morning cup of tea, or serving food to a loved one."
Denise McDonald = DM Pottery.
I’m 40-something, married, childless by choice, a potter, an aunty, and live in the Sydney suburb of Randwick where I grew up (although I’ve lived in a few other far-flung places in between). I lack patience but have great powers of concentration. I’m left-handed and proud to be right-brain dominated.
I find inspiration in all sorts of things; found objects, ceramics from antiquity, and especially the colours and textures of the Australian bush (particularly geology and eucalyptus bark). I’m also inspired by the making process itself - ‘happy accidents’ that can lead to whole new bodies of work. Much of my current work makes use of an Art Nouveau design of Australian flannel flowers sourced from a Federation period pane of pressed glass. I recently developed a new ceramic tray form after using a bamboo takeaway tray as a model. You get the idea...
I completed a Diploma of Arts (Ceramics) in 1996-97 at Holmesglen TAFE in Melbourne. Then I worked in a number of production potteries over many years including Dartington Pottery in England. Then I worked as an assistant to a studio potter in England before starting up my own workshop in 2010. I should also include in my education the countless demonstrations and workshops I have attended over the years given by professional potters - always so illuminating.
Aside from my craft, I also enjoy photography and have been doing that for ...gosh is it really more than 25 years? I used to have a darkroom and print all my own work before the digital age came along and now everything is so easy on a computer screen - I can spend hours in Photoshop. I also love bushwalking, fossil hunting, beach combing, and traveling. Still so much of the world to see.
My piece of advise to other artists? Get a proper job!
Just joking (well kinda). I worked in a bank for 7 years between those
pottery jobs I mentioned earlier, so my advise would be to hold onto the dream even when it seems unattainable and make it happen. Be market aware - the idea is to sell work so you can sustain what you love doing.
My plans for the future? I’ve never been very good at making plans for the future. I want to continue doing what I’m doing right now. I want to continue to grow creatively so that my customer base grows and I stay interested.
Visit Denise an see her gorgeous creations first hand at the Dreamers Christmas Market on the 15th of December.
Like her Facebook Page.
Visit her Website.