Denise McDonald has trained in potteries in England and Australia to learn her craft from the roots up, using time honoured skills and new innovative techniques to make art for everyday living - functional ceramics.
Her work currently tends to divide into 2 main streams: hand built tableware utilising Australian botanical motifs and wheel formed pieces that rely on simple elegant form. Many times these streams overlap. High quality glazes with depth and bold colour are a feature common to both. The hand built work brings together a celebration of our unique Australian flora with a love for heritage patterns and motifs. This fusion results in pieces that have a contemporary design with a hint of nostalgia. You will find 100 year old flannel flower surfaces, bold red Waratahs and quiet fishbone fern embossed on functional stoneware and porcelain. The wheel thrown work grew from a series of restaurant and cafe commissions where the demand was for much simpler forms and surfaces.
OBJECT SHOP MAKER Q&A
What is your 'origin story'?! Where did it all start?
I had always known I wanted to try clay based on childhood memories of being obsessed with the stuff. Once I had had my fill of my first career as a Landscape Architect, I jumped back into clay at an evening class and then a Diploma of Ceramics at Holmesglen TAFE. From there I did the Traineeship at Dartington Pottery in England and never looked back.
Describe the last thing you made?
100 cups for a cafe commission. The volume capacity has to be spot on and that is a real challenge. I love production throwing.
What part of the making process do you enjoy the most?
That zone where I have worked out a new design but it is still fresh and in its early stages. I feel confident and comfortable in its production but not yet bored. That could apply to the throwing, the slabbing, the glazing...
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Meet the Maker: Denise McDonald of DM Pottery
Watch a live ceramics demonstration by Denise McDonald in store, and observe how she hand builds her iconic Flannel Flower range. Watch pitchers and sugar bowls take form over the course of two hours, and learn all about her craft and techniques.
When: Saturday 25 November, 11:30am - 1:30pm
Where: Australian Design Centre, 101-115 William Street, Darlinghurst