Delores Fortuna's work uses basic wheel thrown shapes as a starting point. The clay wall becomes a fabric, a diary rich with gestural marks and intent. As a seamstress would cut, fold, and dart cloth to make a garment, she uses this clay fabric to shape utilitarian vessels.
Early influences in Fortuna's work were the simple yet intense forms of Hans Coper, Lucy Rie and Ruth Duckworth and the color theories of Josef Albers. Fortuna had the honor of studying with Ruth Duckworth at the University of Chicago for her undergraduate and graduate degrees and Richard Lafean was pivotal in developing her wheel throwing touch. Fortuna has always responded to work which is form simple but structurally complex and derives much visual information from a diverse array of contemporary clay artists as well as historical ceramics. Her current work is shaped as much by simple thoughts as by elaborate clay working ideas.
My passion is to make pots for people to use. My current work attempts to synthesize the causal and spontaneous traditions of pottery with a modernist and contemporary design sensibility. My 30-year journey continues to challenge and fascinate me with the magic and joy I found when I first touched clay.
Fortuna divides her time between her studio in Galena, Illinois and teaching at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
Each piece is wheel thrown from porcelain clay and fired to 2300 degrees F, and is oven and microwave safe.