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Daniela Kouzov

Ceramic artist Daniela Kouzov began working with clay in 2017 and hasn’t looked back since.

“It was a pure accident, but it feels like it was meant to be,” says the Bulgarian-born artist who now resides in Green Bay.

Having dabbled in creative endeavors all her life, Kouzov was seeking to experience a new medium when she signed up for a pottery class at the NWTC Artisan and Business Center.

Kouzov appreciates the challenge of working with clay, saying the medium “has a life of its own,” and that working with it has inspired personal development.

“I have become more patient. You can create a beautiful piece, but once in the kiln you never know what’s going to happen,” she says. “I’ve learned it’s okay to have setbacks and accept them. The last three years have been a growing process for me to learn to manipulate and create and grow as an artist and a person.”

Currently Kouzov is developing a new series titled “Mood,” with inspiration from Dale Chihuly’s “Macchia” series. Kouzov creates bowl-shaped vessels by throwing clay on the pottery wheel, which she then flips upside down and shakes with a twisting motion to distort the form. The technique creates random, wave-like curves to the edges of each vessel.

Organic elements such as curves, leaves and flower petals are commonplace in Kouzov’s work.

“In every piece I create there is an element that represents nature,” she says. “We tend to forget how important and relevant nature is. I would like my art to carry a reminder that we are really dependent on nature and we need to think about it.”

In her “Ripples” series, Kouzov created her first wall pieces to mimic the way water patterns look as it reaches shoreline. Each set contains three to five pieces that can be arranged in any way the viewer wishes.

“It gives a lot of freedom to whoever has them,” Kouzov says. “They tend to interact with the viewer and let the viewer have their own input.”

Kouzov says the Green Bay community has been an incredibly supportive environment in which to create art. For example, the Neville Public Museum loaned pedestals for Kouzov’s first solo exhibition at The Art Garage last summer. “In Green Bay there is a wonderful community who works together,” Kouzov says.

Kouzov is currently one of five participants in the NWTC Artisan and Business Center’s inaugural artisan residency program. As part of the residency program, there will be an exhibition hosted at The Art Garage in June.

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