One of the things that I have learned about myself over my 68 years is that I come to a place in my life journey where there is a stop sign in front of me with one or two roads I can follow. Most of my “working” life I had a habit of quitting careers just about every three to four years to the point that it became a joke with my family! Yes, I said “Careers” not just jobs.

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While I never really climbed any ladders of success that way I always came to a point where I felt that I hit my limit in learning and exploring and it was time to move on. I would get bored!

The same thing is true with my creative path as well. I have tried my hand at everything from pine needle weaving to gourd carving. I have knitted, painted, carved, used saws and everything in between trying!

Pottery has been my passion for the last 16 to 17 years. I have loved it and made thousands of pieces, many of which are being enjoyed by people all across the world.

About a year ago I started to get an itch to try something new, so I took a class on Torch-Fire Enameling on copper and was absolutely blown away by the whole process.  So, I invested in some tools, and some enamels and some copper and played around with it while I was waiting for my pottery kiln to cool.

My enameling firing station.
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My enameling firing station.
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I love watching the enamel glass melt under the flame.

As the year progressed, I found myself wanting to learn more about enamel and pottery was beginning to get in my way!! Pottery takes 4 to 6 weeks for a hobby potter like me from the start to the finish and that was a long time to wait to see if anything came out!! There were always surprises in the kiln, good and bad. I wanted something that was a little more instant gratification and enameling gave me that plus I still got to play with colors and fire!!

Adding Art to my Copper Enameled earrings
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Adding Art to my Copper Enameled earrings
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A lot of my pottery tools and skills carry over to enameling. Here I am using Mason Stains, which I use in my pottery glazes, to make an “ink” for my enameled pieces

A few weeks ago, I sat down at my potter’s wheel and drew a blank. I had no idea what to make. I had dried up completely. Instead of guilt tripping myself and forcing myself to make something I did not want to, I decided it was now time to TAKE A BREAK. I fired my last kiln load at the end of September and cleaned my wheel.

Am I done with Pottery?

No, I don’t think so. I will let this play out and see what transpires.  Not only am I playing around with enameling and wire weaving but I am also exploring Abstract Enamel Painting and NeuroArt.

Circles NeuroArt
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Circles NeuroArt
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Lines and Circles were what I was experimenting with on this digital piece. I love having the iPad to sketch and doodle

Intentional Doodling
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Intentional Doodling
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I drew some intentional Lines in Procreate on my iPad and “saw: a flower.

Time will tell where my artistic path will lead. Maybe right back to my potter’s wheel but for right now I am having a ball learning all kinds of new things.

I hope you stick around!!

 

Follow Me

Dani Montoya - Potter
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My name is Dani and I am the potter behind this page! I am retired and having a ball being the artist I always wanted to be. My studio is located in NW Arkansas where I live a quiet life, on a lake with my husband, 3 dogs and two cats.

Have a look around!

Pottery Rasp for cleaning up clay


Mudtools Small Clay Shredder Rasp for Ceramics Artists, Pottery, Clay - Yellow
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Phone Arm for Overhead Videos

I bought this so that I could record video while I am making stuff. It works great.  The arm attaches to the table with a thumb screw. The part that holds your phone is spring loaded and almost too strong of a spring. I pinch my fingers a lot but I know the phone won't fall out into my clay water!!
View on Amazon

Nikon D3500

Nikon D3500 W/ AF-P DX NIKKOR 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR Black
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A few years back I decided to up my online game by taking better photos. At the time Nikon offered the D3400. I never regretted that purchase. It's a lower-end Nikon but has some great features. One of my favorite features is that the camera connects via Bluetooth to my phone which I have set up to automatically upload to Google Photos so they are easy to download to my PC or adjust on my phone and upload to Etsy.
Check it out on Amazon

 

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