Featured Potter: Kelly Lynn Daniels

Paper stencils and a completed flower brick.


Kelly Lynn Daniels is the guest ceramic artist for our Wandering Landscape exhibition.

“As a child I learned that having a garden meant having a place of refuge. I am fascinated by cultivating the earth and my gardens are sources of inspiration. Images, patterns, and texture, layered upon the vessels, serve as metaphors for memory, the passage of time, and sense of place. I see the skins of my vessels as a playground for the eye, while textures entreat fingertips to linger, explore and trace designs. My intent with the many layers of information in my work is to cause a desire for one to pause and linger on each piece and to take time to discover the subtle nuances that play upon the surface and interact with the form. Personal imagery that I layer onto my surfaces include flowers, birds, and insects. Individual motifs are connected to specific memories, while colorful geometric patterns serve as contrast to the botanical bringing energy and balance to my compositions and serve as an initial point of visual attraction to the work.”

– Kelly Lynn Daniels

Sketching florals and testing glaze colors.


How did you get started as an artist?
I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t an artist even if I was too young at the time to label myself as such. I was the kind of kid who spent hours in my coloring books and playing with playdough. Family provided all the art supplies I wanted so I had lots of colored pencils and pens. My mom taught me how to craft and sew and my grandfather helped me make doll furniture. I probably wasn’t more than eight years old. I distinctly remember around that same time, forming little pots out of the clay rich soil in my grandmother’s yard. I painted them with glue to “glaze” them.

What are your biggest influences?
Memories, nature and gardens, photographer, Karl Blossfeldt, wallpaper and textile designer, William Morris, ceramic artist, Julia Galloway, and printmaker, Akiko Taniguchi.


What five words best describe your work?
Pattern, Layers, Color, Texture, Metaphor

Tell us a bit about your technique.
I use both wheel throwing and handbuilding techniques to create my forms. To embellish the surfaces I layer paper stencils with various colored slips and underglazes. I then etch line drawings into the surface which I will later stain to fill the etched lines and highlight the raised surface texture created by the stencils. I. glaze with either a clear, shiny glaze, a satin glaze, or a combination of the two. I have just started to experiment with applying metallic lusters as a final step in the layers of imagery.

Work in progress and detail of a completed piece highlighted with a gold metallic luster bee.


What is a typical workday like for you?
I usually start working in the afternoon and then work for 6-8 hours but I don’t always stick to this schedule.

What is your favorite thing about being an artist?
Keeping my hands busy through the physical acts of making and the stimulating mental challenges that come through the process both conceptual and technical.

Images via Lark & Key – white flower brick and mini batter bowls. All others courtesy Kelly Lynn Daniels.