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 wove into her youth and has stayed with her over the years. Clay was the medium that spoke to her. She fell in love with the intimate nature of utilitarian ceramics and how these pieces are a part of our everyday experience, from plates arranged on a table to how a cup touches your lips.
Dara is a full time studio artist based in Salt Lake City, UT. She received a BFA from Virginia Tech and an MFA from Montana State University. In 2005, she was an Artist in Residence at the Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Montana. After graduate school she moved to Washington and was an Adjunct Professor at Clark College in Vancouver, WA and at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, OR. While in Oregon she was commissioned by Marriott to create 70 figurative sculptures for their Courtyard by Marriott Portland City Center hotel. Most recently, Dara’s life has taken her to Salt Lake City, UT where she worked for 3 years as a product designer, a design team leader, and traveled to China to work with factories on model design and production.
Dara’s designs are an exploration of form and surface. Her work is first made by sculpting a model of each design then casting it in plaster. Next, the molds are cast with porcelain slip. Once removed from the mold each piece is hand carved with a pattern. These pieces are finished with luscious glazes over the subtle textures that add a tactile experience to the work.