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I do like making spoons but you've gotta

About me for now

Passionate about clay and glazes and passionate about passing on the passion  in  teaching and  allowing students to find their own creativity

For now I am Simply D the school of clay & creativity

Later I will  start to share my journey, although perhaps it will end up being my blog....

In the meantime come and play with the clay.

Donna Hill

Well it's official, I am now


Found a fantastic space in a fantastic location to open my new school.  This has been my dream, my driving force (other than my son of course) for the last 10 years.  Can't think of how many times I would say to students "when I win lotto and open my own school..............".  I don't know what happened at the beginning of this year, all I know is I couldn't wait to win lotto to follow my dream, time to take a risk,  So before I start to fill you in on the progress of building my school, I might start at the beginning, and not my beginning, but the beginning of my love for clay and teaching.

I was born in ......... no not going that far back, hehehe

When I was 12 we moved to a small town on the north coast of NSW called Broomshead.  Beautifull beaches and we lived in a caravan park (yes I'm trailer trash), felt like we were living a holiday everyday.  Where I spent most of my time was at the beach, in particular Broomshead backbeach.  Once you walked through the bush land track, and reached the beach, there is a spring, in which the water trickled down the cliff face, and it was full of clay.  I used to sit in it and play with it, paint my face with it (I used to dream I was an american Indian). 


When i started high school in Maclean, my first Art teacher, Mrs Robyn Gibson ( funny i still remember her name after all these years) taught me the wheel.  That"s where it started.  Spent a lot of my lunch breaks on the wheel (especially if suffering teenage heartbreak and little did I know just how much heartache was coming my way).   Once I finish my story, you will understand how much pottery became my safe place and sanity during very dark times.  Honestly the best therapy I have ever had. 

Back to the pottery, funny how all the things I loved doing in Art is now how I will make a living full time  (and Barry O'Farrell  cut funding because he said there is no money in the Arts).  Even the government is recognizing the importance of creativity and the arts for children in this fast growing technological world we find ourselves living in by granting funding for all school aged children to pursue outside creative art activities.  Pottery, Macrame, weaving, screen printing, painting, tye dying, candle making, resin art, flower arranging, knitting, crocheting.  Loved doing all these things, and will be offering these creative art workshops, but clay was always the one for me. 


So for my major works in year 12 did 4 Tea Pots, and promised my self I  would never make them again (thankfully didn't keep that promise).  While I was in high school, I  started doing a pottery class in Grafton at the local community college, that's where it really started, and it's been the 17 years I have spent working for local community colleges where I have lived that has helped get me where I am today.  So interesting for me to be writing this and looking back, seeing the seeds that were planted without me knowing how it was going to not only define my future, but be the foundation from which my dream has been built from.  And i didn't even know it. 


Gosh I'm not a fan of this saying, however, I am going to say it, knowing what I know now what would I say to my younger self when going through really dark challenging times, felling like I had no hope, It would be "have faith in yourself and the universe" (no not the hippie thing again) and  I remember by beautiful wise older sister Laura saying to me about 19 years ago "you know what your problem is Donna, you don't have enough faith in yourself   (it was Laura who suggested I do pottery in Grafton as she and her husband Allan were good friends with the pottery teacher Tim), During this time I bought my first pottery wheel for $100, and when you think that was over 30 years ago, it was pretty expensive, I cashed in my Christmas savings so I could by it.  I sold it 2 years ago for $50, but at the time still had 3 wheels.  So I guess that covers the beginning.  

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