Featured Artist - Dani Van Liefde
Dani at her wheel in her outdoor studio rocking her favorite La Negra Split Leg Apron.
My first formal art class was a ceramics course in high school. I never considered myself an artist but I knew I was good at crafting. Working with clay came naturally to me.
The process of building something that wasn't only interesting to look at but could be also used in everyday life was what initially drew me to ceramics. It wasn't until college that I learned how to throw on the wheel. That was the beginning of my long term relationship with clay.
What I love about pottery is that it keeps me constantly challenged and engaged. It is an incredibly complex art. Beyond understanding how to work with clay there are infinite possibilities in the world of glaze, color and decoration. Understanding what makes up these compounds is chemistry in its greatest form. A couple years ago I bought an old electric kiln and have been learning how to fire my own work. I cherish the autonomy it’s given me. I have control of my process from start to finish.
Dani in her element - the beginning process of throwing on her wheel in her studio.
I enjoy making clean, refined pieces with a minimalist style. What draws me to the "not obviously handmade" look is the challenge - I love the idea of making a mug that surprises people when they find out it's handmade. I express my creativity through the silhouette itself.
The more I create, the more eager I become to explore new styles.
When thinking of new work to make, I find myself envisioning the room or place it would be placed. From there, I draw ideas from various interior design styles that interest me. Currently, I'm very into the 80's glam vibe, which you can see in the fluted, pastel colored pieces pictured. I have recently been trying to entertain surface decoration. This style does not come naturally to me but, I love a good challenge!
The TAL team helps make my surface design exploration easier with their awesome sketchbooks, like the Large Sketchbook with blank pages. I especially love their La Negra Split Leg Apron for throwing. The slit makes it so easy to straddle the wheel and I can fit my trimming tools in the front pockets for easy access.