About the artist
Daumante Stirbyte (Dauma) was born and raised in Lithuania.
She moved to Ireland in 2007 and graduated from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin in 2016 with a BDes(Hons) in Craft Design, specializing in ceramics.
Dauma was a long-term international artist in residence at the London Clay Art Centre (ON) from July 2017 to August 2020, where she assisted the studio technicians and worked as an instructor.
Since moving to Canada she's taken part in numerous group shows and exhibitions across Ontario. Her piece ‘Inflorescence’ was named Best in Show at Fusion’s 2018 Emerging artist exhibition (ON). She took part in the Unity Project organized event UpwithArt in 2018, 2019, and 2022 - a fundraiser for the relief of homelessness. Dauma has also exhibited her work at the Gardiner Museum Shop in Toronto as a featured artist for the month of September 2019, and again in 2022 - with her show Some Place Else.
She's currently represented by The Benz Gallery (London, ON) and Wallspace Gallery (Ottawa, ON).
Dauma now works from her home studio in London, ON.
At the heart of my work lies escapism - clay gives me the freedom to create a universe of my own, a world full of strange things that perhaps don’t fit in anywhere else.
Growing up I hid in books about ghosts and aliens and mythical creatures. I hid in video games, in music, in quiet lonely places. Running away to imaginary worlds felt safe and comforting. I spent a large part of my childhood on my grandparents’ farms, surrounded by all kinds of animals and plants - I often use this love of nature as a drive. I find the insect world exceptionally fascinating and inspiring, but I’m very much interested in all things botanical too. I love to create conceptually driven, peculiar characters with rich surfaces that quietly tell a story of their own.
Lately, I’ve been working on pushing the boundaries of this surreal little world of mine even further and bringing more figurative concepts into life. I’m exploring and reflecting on deeper personal narratives - things that are long gone, have not happened yet, as well as dull and unremarkable everyday moments. A sense of otherness prevails throughout, as does a sense of humor. We each exist in our own unique realities - and this one is mine.
About my process
I often take notes and jot down ideas on sticky notes, paper scraps, and on my phone throughout the day - and then transfer them into my notebook. I draw quick little sketches, fully realized pieces, or sometimes I will go back and forth between drawing and building. I collect various images of shapes, textures, colors, and anything else I find inspiring. I keep these in my notebook as well as hang them up in the studio.
My building process consists of fundamental hand-building techniques like coiling, slabs, and pinching. Sometimes I create and use my own press and slip molds, especially when I'm working with multiples. Sometimes, I build solid and hollow out - it very much depends on the specific project I'm working on.
The clay I choose often depends on my project. I've worked with multiple stoneware clays, paper clay, and porcelain, however, my favorite to work with at the moment is PSH 909 cone 6 porcelain. It fires very white and so all my underglaze/glaze colors really pop!
Most of my work is fired three times - first is bisque (cone 04), then glaze (cone 5-6), and lastly a luster firing (018). I use an electric Euclin kiln.
Below is a sneak peek into my kiln, a few of my favorite tools, and my small Beetle mold.