Thursday, April 12, 2012

Featured contest artist: Denise from

Our featured artist today is Denise from, who has the 5th highest winning average among the 1500-some shops in the contest! You can also find her on facebook or at her website:

2 Beakers2 Beakers
by dmpottery

Tell us a bit about yourself
My name is Denise and I run a business in Sydney called DM Pottery. Hopefully that gives you a clue that I am a potter. I've been living in England for most of the last 10 years and have finally come home to be closer to my family. I love bushwalking, the beach, taking photographs, oh and my hubby.

What got you started in pottery?
As a young person, I had always played with clay and made all the Christmas presents I gave out to my family. As a high school student I had just taken it for granted I would become an artist of some description, having always been the star of the art class. Then real life kicked in and I needed what I perceived as a 'real job' and so ended up doing all kinds of things from Landscape Architecture to working in one of the largest Banks in the UK. It was when I was a Landscape Architect that I realised I wanted to be making things directly with my hands from start to finish rather than sitting at an office drawing board.

Set of 2 Teacups with SaucersSet of 2 Teacups with Saucers
by dmpottery

Clay had been in the back of my mind for years - a growing obsession based on memories from when I was young playing with the stuff. I knew I had to act on these thoughts, so I did a night course where I first used the potters wheel and was instantly positive I wanted to master it and follow a clay path. I love the endless possibilities of clay. I never get tired of it. One body of work leads to new ideas for the next.

What inspires you?
Heaps of things, my mind is always wandering. There are things I just stumble upon - like the c1900 pane of pressed glass in my mothers Australian Federation home, a design of flannel flowers in relief that I have made a plaster cast from and now reproduce in most of my work at the moment. Noticing that glass and valuing its aesthetic and its conservation has led to my main body of work that I can't see exhausting itself any time soon. Another inspiration is the making process itself - what would happen if I did it like this instead of the way I'm doing it now? 'Happy accidents' that lead to new approaches. Another inspiration is nature. I love natural textures, colours and forms - like fossils and shells or eucalyptus tree bark. I also look at a lot of ceramics from antiquity - I love ancient Minoan pottery and ancient chinese wares and old islamic shapes, so elegant.

Big Green Cup & SaucerBig Green Cup & Saucer
by dmpottery

Tips for other etsy artists?
Get as involved in Etsy as you have time for. It wasn't until I started taking my shop seriously that I started selling things. I mean, make Treasuries, comment on Treasuries, join Circles, favourite shops and items, join teams and participate in their discussion lists, include your shop address on your business cards and other marketing materials, link it to Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc, Complete your shop policies, respond to convos from potential customers PRONTO, have good descriptive titles and photos for your listings (brightly lit, filling the frame and in focus), give the customer the info they need to make a decision - seems obvious, but it is amazing how often as a buyer I can't get the info I need from the listing.

Ceramic bud vase with Australian Flannel flower designCeramic bud vase with Australian Flannel flower design
by dmpottery

Have you bought anything cool off etsy lately?
Sure have. My sisters and me all buy birthday and Christmas pressies for each other on Etsy by checking out each others favourites. It makes it sooooo easy. I recently treated myself to a beautiful mug from Ruchika. Yes, Potters buy pots from other potters.

Pale green ceramic tealight holderPale green ceramic tealight holder
by dmpottery

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