Danielle Bewer's background is in art, architecture and design, though she later added a BA in English and a MA in Italian from UCLA. Born in New York, she spent fifteen years of her early life in Europe: eight years in Rome where her family moved when she was eight; five years in London where she studied first architecture at the Architectural Association, then graphic design at the London College of Printing; and finally two years in a small town in Italy where she took her first classes in the art of ceramics with a local master. Those early years in Europe greatly influenced her aesthetics. The second part of her life was spent back in the US: after two years freelancing in graphic design in New York, she settled in California where she continued her work in design and raised three children. She now resides in San Clemente, California.
Danielle states, "My return to working with clay has been a gift, as it’s shown itself to be the ideal vehicle for combining my passion for color with my background in art, design and architecture."
I'm an abstract artist, and I choose this style because it breaks free from the restrictions imposed by reality and compels the viewer to engage with the work on a personal level. My passion is color. I‘m fascinated by its ability to bypass the mind and elicit an emotional response. Honoring the beauty of each color has led me to edit my compositions to simple shapes, allowing for minimal distraction and maximum effect. The modernity of composition is tempered by its warmth. What gives my work its distinct feel is the choice of clays and glazes. I opt for colored clays and semi-translucent glazes; the clay contributes warmth, and the translucence of the glazes allows for coherence between parts. I choose semi-translucent glazes also because they offer a depth of color that I find lacking in their opaque counterparts.
Simply put, for me color equals joy. I believe in its power to elevate people’s moods and brighten spaces. And that is the goal of my work.
The Ceramic Process
Creating ceramic work is a complex, multi-step process. For those of you who don't know, here’s a quick overview:
Roll the clay into a slab
Let dry until leather hard (1 day)
Cut the desired shape
Let it dry, turning it with care regularly so that it dries evenly and doesn’t warp (2-3 days)
When dry, prep/sand work to get it ready for firing. Handle with care as work is most delicate in this stage and at risk of breaking.
Load greenware (dried clay) into kiln
The first firing turns greenware into bisque (unglazed ceramic). Minimum of 24-36 hours.
When cooled, take out and inspect. Discard the warped or cracked ones, and refinish/sand the rest.
Wipe/rinse and let dry.
Paint a minimum of 3 layers of glaze, letting piece dry between applications.
When dry, clean edges
Load into kiln with care.
Glaze firing. Typically 24-36 hours.
When cooled down, unload kiln and check pieces. This is the most exciting moment. Some pieces will come out perfect, some will have glaze defects—either bubbles or uneven glaze. The occasional one will crack. The imperfect ones will need to be fixed and re-glazed, then re-fired.