Denise Ertler

Denise Ertler has been apart of the ceramic industry for more than 40 years. She creates her work in her “garudio” while teaching occasionally to spread her wealth of knowledge, which she enjoys the most. Denise is a Mayco Creative Partner and represents Mayco at tradeshows and conducts workshops on our behalf so you may see her at a show in the future!

Interview with Bre Kathman

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? 

I consider myself to be military brat traveling what seemed every four years. After my dad retired, we settled in Winter Park, Florida where I started my journey in sales. Since I was young, I have been artistically inclined, some more times than others. I had studied art in college but never finished. Later in life I was determined to finish my degree and received a degree in Graphic Design. 

Since I was young, I have been artistically inclined, some more times than others. I have been professionally involved in the ceramic industry for more than 40 years, as a studio owner, retailer, instructor and professional potter. I have since retired and am able to enjoy producing my work in in my “garudio” (Garage Studio) and a local school of art. I still professionally instruct occasionally but now just enjoy passing on what I have learned and creating. 

What drew you towards working with ceramics? 

I became interested in ceramics as a sideline from a sales job which was going nowhere. From this sideline, I took it a step forward, and I became owner of a traditional clay casting studio. I wanted to instruct traditional clay methods, as well. I wanted to expand the whys, ways and hows not only with clay but also with glaze formulations and techniques so I began to attend classes at Crealde as a “fellowship” …and my journey began. 

You have a diverse business management, marketing, sales and education background. What has been the most influential and career -changing experience you’ve had? 

This is a tough question…Every step I have taken, every venture I have accepted has been a challenge. I’ve been lucky to do what I do and be able to enjoy doing it. But I would have to say my biggest career change and biggest step was to join the Mayco team. It was an opportunity to grow, travel, educate and learn. 

What do you enjoy most about creating your pieces?  

It’s such a process for me as I never know where I want to go with a piece. I have an idea and it can change as the piece evolves. It’s the final outcome that’s the most enjoyable. When the piece makes you smile. 

What is your favorite part about doing Mayco workshops? 

That’s an easy one…it’s the people you meet and knowing you have taught those attending a little more than they knew when they came into a class and them appreciating the knowledge. 

How do Mayco glazes fit into your work now? 

I have no specific motif in what I create so I use a variety of Mayco products. I like bright, bold and fun colors, but I also layer glazes with dependability. S&C’s are perfect for letting me takin my 2D designs on to clay.