The Reboli Center for Art & History’s September Artisan of the Month, Donna McGee, designs and creates one-of-a-kind functional and decorative pieces in stoneware and earthenware, and puts her signature mark on each piece with her original drawings of fields, flowers, farm life and faces.
“Her unique vases, bowls, pots and platters often feature scenes from the views outside of her studio windows. The Reboli Center is thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase the pottery of Donna McGee, whose work is so distinctive and appealing,” said Lois Reboli, a founder of the Reboli Center.
For most of her life, Donna has focused on art. Since her youth she has been a frequent visitor to museums and galleries, than first as an artist and now as a potter. She studied art at Southern Illinois University and has a Bachelor’s of Science in Re-creation, Art and Society. In her twenties, she went to Europe and studied clay at the Jacob Cramer Centre for the Arts in Leeds, Yorkshire, England.
According to Donna, “I took one class in pottery in college and hated it. A couple of years later, I took another class and decided that this was what I wanted to do. I am mostly self-taught and have always had confidence in my drawings and creativity – that is what propels me. I make pieces that are both functional, as well as decorative, because I am a realist and want my work to be used.”
Once she calculated that she made about 1000 pots per year. While her work is her own, she does take some commissions. Her process involves making the item either wheel thrown or slab built, and then painting the background color on it while the clay is still wet. After the first firing, she paints the details, applies a transparent glaze, and fires the piece again. “My work is known for its variety of drawings and paintings,” she added.
Donna McGee’s work is on display during the month of September and admission to the Reboli Center for Art & History, 64 Main St., Stony Brook is free. Hours are Tuesday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit the Center’s website at www.rebolicenter.org or call 631-751-7707.