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Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Who Is Artist Lori Daniels?

Born in Wisconsin a little over fifty years ago, artist Lori Daniels began life brimming with artistic curiosity. She's always had a special relationship with color and the ever-changing patterns of the natural world. Her styles are inspired by Gustav Klimt, Marcel Duchamp and Piet Mondrian. She says her true role model is Louise Nevelson, who created monumental installations out of found objects. While Nevelson usually painted her pieces in a single color, Daniels enhances her work with rich rainbows.

Daniels was brought up Catholic, and says her artistic career is like a vocation, the call from God felt by people who take holy vows. She says she eats, breathes and smells color. Her art has been exhibited in major galleries.

Daniels now lives in Mapleton, Illinois with her partner, folk art dealer Stephen White. They share an 1870 Victorian farmhouse. The surrounding land is now an art compound filled with antiques and supplies. Decorative tin pieces salvaged from the ceilings of old houses wait to be transformed into Daniels' famous creations, more like ceramic sculpture than embossed metal.

Assisted by a work crew, White scours the country looking for decorative tin ceilings from old buildings that have been demolished or remodeled. After cleaning the tin, White cuts it into pieces. Daniels assembles the pieces on wooden stretcher frames or as collage designs, some over nine feet tall. She then primes and coats them in her own personal oil paint mixture. She finishes with many coats of glaze, also her own patented formula, protecting the work as well as giving it a unique glow. No two works are alike, partly because the glaze affects the paint differently depending on temperature and other factors. Each piece is signed and dated.

Tin ceiling art is just the beginning. Lori Daniels also works her magic on old license plates, wrought iron and even wooden ammunition boxes. She salvages, cleans and restores forgotten treasures, bringing them back to life to be displayed and used in your home. Her shop is called Antique Tin Expressions. She plans to write a book about the history of decorative tin ceilings, and another about Majolica ceramics.


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