Ceramic artist Dawn Renee works in Raku, a type of Japanese pottery. Here, Renee explains a little about her experiences in the medium and how she adapts with each of her commissioned pieces.
Where did you go to school and what was your best educational takeaway?
I graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. During my coursework at SAIC, I focused my studies on 3- and 4-dimensional work. My practice in installation work has been an asset to the commission work I do today. It is important for a successful commission to consider all aspects and details of the environment in which the work will be installed.
What do you love best about the medium/media you work in?
I’ve been dancing with fire for the past two decades and I love it! The process of Raku ceramic work is a constant study, as every day I learn more about all the components of my medium, it’s history and it’s future. Earth, fire and air; humbling elements to play with!
What is your greatest source of inspiration for your work?
My studio work is constant; to have the opportunity to work with other professionals in the arts is a gift of inspiration. Whether it is working with a designer, consultant or another artist, I am likely to be offered a challenge or a chance to think “outside of my studio.”
Tell us about a commission you’re working on now.
I just finished a residential commission with a client that is an interior designer. This was a rare opportunity to work directly with the clients. They requested a palette of brown tones, which isn’t present in my current glaze palette and not common in Raku glaze colors. I fired dozens of color test tiles for client approval and discovered a new glaze combination we all fell in love with. New discoveries are the reward of meeting the client’s challenge and creating a successful commission!