WHO MAKES ALL THIS STUFF??
Queen of the rodeo! Knotts Berry Farm,
MY NAME IS DONNA
EDDY, AND I'M CHIEF COOK AND BOTTLE WASHER OF THE ARTISTIC ENDEAVOR KNOWN AS DESIGNS IN CLAY. I'M A "CALIFORNIA GIRL"...WELL
OLD WOMAN, ACTUALLY, AND GREW UP IN HUNTINGTON BEACH (ALSO KNOWN AS SURF CITY) IN THE "OC" BACK WHEN IT WAS BEANFIELDS AND
ORANGE GROVES. I NOW LIVE IN THE OUTSKIRTS OF REDLANDS IN THE "IE" (INLAND EMPIRE OF SOCAL) WHERE A FEW
OF THE REMAINING CITRUS GROVES AND A LITTLE OPEN COUNTRY STILL SURVIVE.
I've always had an artistic nature...I got into a lot of trouble in school by
drawing horses (even though I was never very good at it) instead of doing my assignments...and would pick up almost
any kind of claylike material and try to make an animal out of it. Back in the 1970s I met a neighbor who
sculpted dogs and she showed me the process of making ceramic figurines and gave me instruction on the finer points of dog
anatomy. From that start I began making dog and horse models, soon learning how to make the plaster molds, and eventually
branching out into other mediums.
I have always preferred putting personality
and action into the breed I'm portraying, rather than trying to show perfect conformation (who can agree on that anyway)?
I have been blessed with several good dogs, but all of them of questionable heritage; and I don't show dogs, so I am not biased
toward any particular breed, although I most enjoy doing the elegant sighthounds with their their grace and dignity.
I have ridden horses nearly all my life,
starting with "stealing" rides from the neighbor's horses out in pasture. Mostly I had permission from the owners, but
sometimes, maybe not. (Something I'm not proud of, but...well...when you're poor and horse crazy you do what you have
to!). And then there were my Granddad's calves... As an adult, I became a horse owner and have always had
horses in my backyard from that time. My horses are Arabian or half Arabian, so my models nearly always end up
as Arabian because that's what I see when I look out my back door.
I still do most of my
things "the old fashioned way" in glazed ceramic, and occasionally in porcelain. I always prided myself for always handpainting
the color with a brush, but after purchasing an airbrush on a whim and using it for large areas, I've
learned to love it for the subtle shading I can get on smooth coated dogs and horses. So far, I have resisted plaster (and
all its cousins). I have made companion animals for model horses in resin but have phased out that medium (too many projects,
not enough room to work on them), and most recently I have cast my western pieces (and a few of my smaller dogs) in bronze--a
medium that had always been out of reach to me until I started attending a bronze foundry casting class at the local
college. There I can build my bronze pieces myself and cast them in the school foundry.
A project I am particularly proud of is making the
bronze marker for "Teddy's Trail", one of Redlands' Heritage recreational trails. Teddy Banta was a tireless worker
for open space and this trail route which she was instrumental in acquiring was named in her honor. This is was my first
sandcast piece and it took nearly all the "he-men" at class to move the box from the prep area to the casting area.
A beautiful granite boulder was located and moved to the site by members of the foundation and another member drilled
mounting holes in it. So all together it was a group labor of love to honor an old friend.