Donna began working with clay when her two girls were very young. Her daughters played with Sculpey polymer clay and Donna joined in, making small creations. This home crafting led to taking hand building pottery classes at Knoxville Arts and Find Crafts. Her teacher, Annamaria Gundlach, inspired her to continue her love for hand building. Soon after, Donna became involved with Saint Andrew’s Episcopal Church pottery ministry in Maryville, and she discovered a community of wonderful friends and more hand building techniques during her time there.
In 2014, Donna and her husband purchased a kiln and created a small studio in their home garage. Most days, she is out in the garage (sometimes with space heaters!) sculpting and creating with clay. Donna takes workshop classes whenever she can, as she always loves to learn new processes for glazing and hand building. Although she has a small wheel and has taken a few classes, she prefers hand building.
Donna uses her pottery for local mission opportunities with her church, Monte Vista Baptist Church, for Caregivers Day Out, Monte Vista Children’s Department, and Maryville Community Worx. You can often find Donna in her home studio, creating custom gifts for beloved friends and family, preparing for a ministry project, or even teaching some hand building basics to a few friends!
“I absolutely love creating something specifically for someone based on their interest or time in their life. My joy comes from their surprise at the finished product! I am blessed with family and friends who encourage me as I continue to learn and create with clay.”