Danusia Kusmierek

I have been mesmerized by the magic that happens on a pottery wheel long before Patrick Swayze's memorable scene in “Ghost”. As a young girl growing up in Poland, I saw a potter in action on television and it was love at first sight. For two decades I kept that “seed of art” in my heart when my life was busy with education, marriage, my two beautiful children, and emigration from Poland through Germany to Canada. Now, as a retiree living on the picturesque Texada Island, the time to pursue my artistic dream has finally come.

In 2003 I rekindled my romance with clay as a medium at the Surrey Arts Center where I began taking classes and tortured my poor instructors with endless questions. For the next decade I belonged to the North Delta Potters Guild where I shared a studio with many talented potters. As a member of the Frasier Valley Potters Guild I had the opportunity to explore a variety of firing techniques including wood, soda, gas, pit, and Raku. At Kwantlen Polytechnic I learned various methods of throwing and hand-building from some of the the best in the field. In 2016 I retired from my day-job with the Surrey School Board and moved to the Sunshine Coast to chase my dream to build a studio of my own and become a full time potter.

For me working with clay teaches me to be patient and humble. Each step of creating a pottery piece presents a risk of failure but if I am composed and persistent in trying, the result can be extremely rewarding. When I am working in the studio I lose the feeling of time; I forget to eat or drink for hours, my body and mind are in sync. Despite this the stress and pressure I put myself under, this is my way of relaxing and letting go.

As a practical woman I prefer making functional pieces that bring art into my daily use; I enjoy making mugs, tea sets, bowls, serving trays, and casserole dishes. I my opinion, great food and drinks taste better when served in a dish that complements it. In my work I am inspired by the nature that surrounds me; my glaze pallets echoes the colours of the earth, plants, ocean, and sky. My pieces have organic shapes that feel good and natural when held in my hands. When I touch a finished pottery piece I feel a connection to another passion of mine – Astronomy. The same elements of clay and glazes (like iron) are found in my blood and also in the planets and stars of the Universe showing how we are all inter-connected.