Dara Hartman is a full-time ceramic artist and new resident to Salt Lake City. She moved to Utah from Battle Ground, WA where she taught at Clark College in Vancouver, WA and Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, OR. She received her MFA from Montana State University in Bozeman, MT. In 2005, Dara was a resident at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, MT.
Imagine, drops of rain falling on your face, soaking your clothes, dripping down your legs, and filling your shoes with water. I love the feeling of being in nature and sloshing through water like a child at play. I am a mountain biker and spend a lot of time in the woods. While I have tried to exclude this from my ceramic work in the past I have come to realize that it is a vital part of why I make what I make.
I am deeply influenced by the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest. Specifically, by the abundance of water, how it moves, collects in pools, and provides life to lush green plants. I am inspired by the contrasting elements found in the wild from the calm peaceful forest at once bursting with noise from a creek, wind, and animals to the evidence of the destructive nature of water.
My pots are not meant to copy nature but to reflect the quiet beauty of the forest. The forms are drawn from the shapes of clovers, tree trunks, and shallow pools of water. The surface decoration represents raindrops, waterfalls, trees, and rocks. The contrasting interior and exterior glazes echo the color of water, the rich green plant life, and polished river rocks.
My time in the backcountry of Southwest Washington has given me a greater appreciation for these magnificent forests. It allows me the fleeting chance to get away from the stresses of daily life and to explore and experience nature. This is what I bring to my pots, a moment of peacefulness and discovery.