Dyer grew up in Whangarei Heads and had two loves: art and nature. After qualifying as an archeologist she turned to a career in marketing and sales and began to dabble in art and graphic design.
Dyer experienced a strong urge to work with clay, but wanted to find a way to mould and set it at home with the equipment she had and without experiencing judgements from others about not using natural clay. Polymer clay, an oven bake clay that can be “fired” in your kitchen, was the obvious choice.
I kept making excuses as to why I couldn't work with natural clay. I think I was worried I wasn't ‘arty’ enough.”
Developing her unique style has taken a great deal of time and experimentation.
“Initially I created flatter pieces that would bake better, and started adding slightly more of a 3D aspect to my work once I knew the clay’s limitations.”
Inspired by the colours and textures of the natural world, Dyer aims to capture these characteristics in her work and can sometimes spend a full day mixing clay to achieve the precise colours she is looking for.
Dyer’s works, which range in size, can take anywhere from a day to over 70 hours.
“They’re very time consuming, but thankfully I have the patience for it!”
After her work began to sell, Dyer realised that she was in a position where she could give up her full-time job to allow more time for her art. Now living in London, part-way through a two-year overseas experience, dyer works from home creating little Kiwi scenes from the other side of the world.
“My partner and I went travelling for 6 months in the prime time my art started becoming successful, now I feel I may have to build a following from scratch. I hope to be able to develop my art career while I'm here, then when I head back to New Zealand, fingers crossed, I’ll have international recognition.”
Dyer’s long-term dream is to create enough work to show in a gallery. As for what this work might look like, she’s going to see where her inspiration takes her.
“I feel as though my ideas are as malleable as the clay I work with.”
If you’d like to follow Dyer’s journey, search for Danny Rae Design on Instagram or Facebook.