Wednesday, 13 April 2011

tenmoregirls artist profile : danielle butters

This week tenmoregirls artist Danielle Butters talks us about her inspiration. For tengirls tencolours, she is exploring the colour PURPLE.

What materials inspire you?
I enjoy working with materials that are a challenge to manipulate. Stone and steel are a couple of my favourites. I think the sense of uncertainty is what I enjoy – welding steel and never being quite sure whether it’ll warp in an unplanned direction, or whether the weld will be a good one. I like pushing materials to their physical limits, like carving a piece of granite so thin that it breaks, to find out what it’s breaking point is. If I find its limit, the next time I carve it, I can stop just before I reach that point. That’s the plan anyway!

What is your favourite tool in the workshop? Why?
I think parallel pliers are one of the most outstandingly useful tools in my studio, and I love the endless possibilities of working with my torch, but for a favourite tool, I can’t go past the hydraulic press. I love a tool that can put 20 tonnes of pressure onto a piece of metal and transform it in a matter of seconds. Does that mean I have a short attention span? I don’t have a hydraulic press in my studio yet, but having access to one in the workshop at Design Centre, Enmore keeps me happy.

Where do you think your creativity comes from? (eg family? background? have you always wanted to be an artist/designer?)
I’ve always been creative - a maker, a writer, the queen of the dress-up box. From my early days of daisy chains and mud pies I graduated to drawing and writing short stories, a little bit of acting, the weird creativity of scientific research and finally, designing and making jewellery and objects. What I make has changed, but I’ve always felt as though I was making treasures, and that’s still the feeling I have when I’m in my studio, making. I feel like a bit of an alchemist, I guess, creating treasures from a weird and wonderful range of materials.

What is your favourite colour?
My favourite colour is Red. Red, red, red. Always red. It does something for me. Maybe it’s the energy that radiates from something that’s the perfect shade of red. It’s powerful, passionate, alive.

Who inspires you?
I am inspired by people who see no limits, who have a dream and chase it, regardless of setbacks. I’m inspired by strong women, like my Mum and by artists who are authentic, articulate and successful.

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