Hi, I am Danielle Skentzos the muddy hands behind Shiralee Pottery. I live in the rural fields of Oro-Medonte, Ontario, with my husband and three boys. I create functional wheel-thrown pottery in my humble home studio on a small farm. I majored in Health Sciences at the University of Western Ontario, Canada before completing a Masters in Teaching at Griffith University in Queensland, Australia. I first discovered the feeling of pottery turning through my hands after moving back to Canada to teach. I continued learning from wonderful local potters and time spent at Haliburton School of Art. My pottery is inspired by the landscape around me, and the comfort of simply spending time with the people you love.
When I was little, my grandfather carved, ‘Shiralee’ into a log at their property. He enjoyed reading and mentioned it was an Australian word meaning, ‘beloved burden.’ He had been in a wheelchair since my mom was nine. Together, my grandparents raised eleven children and welcomed their families every Sunday for dinner and an afternoon of play. Their warmth and strength have always inspired our family.
Currently my time is spent raising our boys, making pots and teaching science. Making pottery has allowed me to pursue my curiosity in clay, continue my love of learning and has given me some calm and quiet in a busy time of my life.