Growing up in a family of makers Dara was raised with paints, pastels, clay, yarn, thread, and fabric in her hands. The women in her life made things for the home. This desire to make utilitarian objects has stayed with Dara over the years but it wasn’t until a ceramics class in college that she realized that clay was her medium. In one of her first ceramics classes her professor talked about the subtle nuances of a cup: how the rim of a cup rests on the users lip, how the cup is held, the shape of the handle, the volume of the cup, how it sits on the table, and how the intended liquid looks in the cup. Think about that for a minute, how complex and intimate something as simple as a cup can appear. These ideas on form and function have been a consistent thread in Dara’s work over the years. Dara’s designs are an exploration of form and surface with careful considerations of details and of how each piece can be used. These pieces are finished with luscious glazes over subtle textures that add a tactile experience to the work. Dara’s work connects with the user in a way that allows them to slow down and enjoy the moment whether that’s an afternoon tea or dinner with family.
Dara Hartman’s work is first made by sculpting a model of each design then casting it in plaster. These handmade molds are cast with porcelain slip. Once removed from the mold it is then hand carved with a pattern making each piece slightly different.