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Doni Langlois


What clay body do you use?

"Cinco Blanco and Dixon ."


Primary forming method?

"Hand build from soft slabs or pinch "


Primary firing temperature?

"Cone 5"


Favorite surface treatment?

" Porcelain slip with oxides and glazes or layered underglazes – complimentary colors popping out from underneath."







Brick and Two Tall Natural Vases









A Call For Fall


Favorite Tools?

" Serrated edge rib, handmade stamps or rollers"


Close up - Butterfly Vase


Describe your studio environment.

"I work out of my 3-car garage. It is temperature controlled, for the most part, and has lots of light. It’s a great space though I share it with the household tools and needs and I’m alone most of the time. My husband brews beer and takes up about 80sf. Which I resent, until the beer is made."



Summer End


Soft Blue and Green Mattes









Vases













Heart  Full of Hope




How/Where do you market and sell your artwork?

"This has evolved for sure! Excluding the year of shut down – I was showing often with First Saturday Art Market, Sawyer Yard Art Market and other shows nearby – Maybe 4 – 6 times per year. I also tried a year stint sharing a studio space to display work in Winter Street Studios. While I enjoyed my studio mates and being where the action is – I did not work there. So there was always difficulty having some work in the studio space and other work at my home studio. Logistics was complicated! All in all, I never made enough to pay for the studio or make a decent living on the few market shows.

I’ve evolved to having a better website with a shop and developing a wholesale customer base. Face book and Instagram have been good platforms for marketing! Creating ways to diversify income has increased my numbers and given me time to create new and larger pieces. I’ve decided shows will be only a couple of times a year and more than one day.

Along with those things, I’ve also decided to begin approaching galleries and calls for art that I’ve been previously intimidated to approach. All of these recent things have focused me to my goal of larger more narrative works."


Bored Gossip






Small Olive Oils and Dipper






Gossip Columns



What sparks your creativity? What drives you to work with clay?

"I’m inspired by a ton of things! Music, poetry, Nature’s amazingness, wit and whimsy – all of these things come to play in my work. But overall I think there’s the constant striving to communicate. To see if you can make the thing or feeling that is in your head and heart. That spark never goes out (for long) and clay is the medium for possibility. It has few limits really, at least ones that can be pushed and manipulated. However, as a hand builder I am always tested. Just when I think I can build this big, tall stacking sculpture for my yard… I realize I have more to learn about building large. Which lights the spark to figure out how to do that… Then there is the ever-elusive surface. For me, I am always wanting a corrosion or look of age and weather. To have a surface that looks like it came out of a tomb with some leeching oxide or muck that makes the surface all crusty? Well, that’s just heaven!"              




Growing Season 2020




Mixed Media Wall Hearts



Growth Oriented 2020






Natural River Rock Hearts



Did you come to ceramics from a different career? Tell us about your journey to a ceramics career.

      "I came from a background of interior design which gave way to creating a faux and decorative painting company. I had a faux finish crew and worked as a painter for 25 years in the Houston area. Clay work was a hobby that I only rarely got to play with. Ceramics was where I got to really be creative and play. While I loved having a faux finish business it really did not allow for my own voice of creativity. I was mostly charged with creating a backdrop to the interior surroundings. Which meant a whole lot of taupe and brown glazing on walls. I finally became burnt out on both the physical exertion as well as the repetition of jobs. There were occasional murals and exciting opportunities for sure, but they were few and far between. I eventually decided to retire and make ceramic art a full-time business. Even with clay work I find my self falling in to needing to make things for the sake of the sale. Of course – we need our bread and butter – but overall I’ve been able to stay much more creative and have been lucky to find an audience that appreciates my particular style. The interior design aspect is part of my DNA however and creating pieces for a space is one of those things that sparks the creativity. You can certainly see the influence of painting, creating texture and the illusion of age or wear in my surfaces."


      Beginnings - side close up




      Tumbled Olive Oils



      Beginnings




      Earth-tone Worded Hearts and Daisy Hearts



      How have you have taken your experience as a well-established maker in the field and passed that knowledge along to your other artists?

      "I teach a few classes a year and offer classes to my church community as part of our fundraisers. I think creativity in general is squashed for many folks – I offer tons of encouragement and my studio to friends and family to simply explore that. Both in painting as well as clay work.

      I also encourage many new artists venturing into showing their work. It’s scary, navigating putting your art out there among all of those other artists that seem to have all the answers."


        Middle of the Story



        Prospects Growing


        Rumor Tower


        Farmhouse Wall Heart

        What’s the best advice you’ve been given by a fellow maker, mentor, or teacher?

          Ive heard both of these things from many people I admire and have learned from:

          1. To just do the work. Get out there every day or every workday and do the work – you may or may not get a call from the muse but you certainly wont if you are not there!

          2. Make crap!   It’s kind of like just do the work only you cant censor it. You have to make what’s in your brain and heart to make – even if its crap. Everything starts there – the only way to get better, to learn, to get to the next thing is to make crap.  Its all part of the journey and we’re all on it at some point on the circle. That helps as well when you are being too hard on yourself or too judgmental about other’s work– we are all on a journey that circles round and round. It’s a wonderful thing! You make some decent work and you make some crap!"



          Time to Fly







          Chatter Box and Fact Finder Fred





          Website URL and other social media platforms:

          www.artfullifeclay.com

          https://www.instagram.com/artfullifeclay/

          Bio:

          Doni owned and operated The Finish Line – a decorative painting and faux finish company near Houston, Texas for twenty plus years. Her educational background includes Parson’s School of Design in New York, ceramic studies with Roy Hanscom at North Harris College, and various ongoing classes and workshops with leaders in the ceramic art world.  Doni serves on the committee for the Northwood’s Art Gallery at Northwoods Unitarian Universalist Church in the Woodlands, TX;  she oversees the ongoing exhibitions and displays art of her own and others. Doni is also a member of the Woodlands Art League and Clay Houston

          She loves and lives in Spring, Texas.

            clayhouston

            Address:
            PO Box 667401
            Houston, TX 77266

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