Meet a Colorful Artist: Dawn Renee

Coral & Floats, raku ceramic and glass, 2013.
Coral & Floats, raku ceramic and glass, 2013.

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!

Artist Dawn Renee in her studio.
Artist Dawn Renee in her studio.

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!