I have known Donna Davies for eight years, We met when I co-created a tourism magazine and reached out to her to submit editorial content on her passion; all things Halloween and her website Hudson Valley Halloween Magazine ! Since then, she has written a handful of children’s books , co-produced Halloween parades in Dutchess County, written numerous online pieces, decorates like a mad-woman for Halloween and somewhere along the line had time for her new passion pottery!
When you are thinking of starting a new creative project, it sometimes takes a while to get going. There are moments when you have a vision of how you are going to do something. You even picture the successful outcome and you catch yourself doing a little happy dance while driving in the car. But guess what? Sometimes you NEVER do that great creative idea! I think many artistic people go through this and I know there are more times than I care to admit that I have personally dropped the ball or let go of why I should do something. That changed for me this year and I take comfort from friends like Donna Davies who choose to constantly grow, change and delve into a new artistic project.
Donna has always been artistic. She had been told you can’t support yourself on an artist’s income. But after receiving her BA Degree, she was looking for something to fulfill the needs of the right side of her brain. She took a few classes at Rhinbeck Pottery and was hooked.
Although she had limited free time, she set up a home studio and devoted her off-time to practicing her new craft. Of course, in the beginning she admits she wasn’t very good. Pottery is an art form that takes patience and practice. So she researched the possibilities, became more intrigued with the endless applications and techniques of working with clay. She says ” Ceramics is no longer your grandmother’s hobby and certainly not limited to paint your own pottery shops”.
Cape Cod Influence
Cape Cod is a mecca for pottery and Donna took workshops at Castle Hill with Chandra Debuse who is gaining quite a reputation for herself in the ceramics industry. Snow Farm in Massachusetts is another amazing place to retreat to and a couple of hours away from the Hudson Valley. A lot of her off-time is spent looking for pottery workshops on the east coast where she meets the most amazing people. She says “when she is immersed in making pottery nothing else exists”. She is now taking an online pottery course with Diana Fayt who she calls an amazing artist who transitions her drawings into clay. In the Hudson Valley she likes the classes at Art Centro and is working toward her dream trip to spend a month at Arrowmont in Tennessee.
It’s All In The Name
“I remember my first dish like it was yesterday. It was a hot summer day. I was slicing up a juicy watermelon and placed it in a dish that I made myself. The caladon color of the dish brought out the pink of the watermelon. Hence the name of my studio, Caladonna Studio. A combination of my favorite glaze and my name”. Serendipity Indeed!
Influences & Inspiration
Chandrea Debuse, Molly Hatch and Diana Fayt are her favorite potters. She loves how they blend the art of drawing and using clay as a medium to create something functional and appealing to the eye. She likes fun pottery which is functional and it carries as an inspiration for developing her own personal style which has taken her the past few years to figure out.
“I always have a sketch pad with me. After spending 13 years working as the Director of Web Marketing at The Culinary Institute of America, it’s not a surprise that food would play a role in what she creates. She is developing a line of pie plates.
Local antique shops and retro kitchen also inspire her craft. From cherry red and bright teal to kitschy advertising. Since her focus is on functional pottery, her work is starting to reflect the period of time when life was all baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. She even uses a retro kitchen table as her glaze table.
Donna’s 3 Takeaways On Pottery
1. You can make pottery anywhere with tools you can find around your house.
2. Color….color….color! I love the multitude of colors and glaze availability.
3. I love the new friends I’ve made who have a love for clay.
To watch Donna’s progress follow her on Pinterest + Instagram
Her pottery website Celadonna Studio is under construction so check back!
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