Suzanne Donazetti ‘weaves’ her way to success in Santa Fe!
About 23 years ago, she began weaving and painting on metal. During her artistic journey, she has explored painting, fiber, quilting, basketry, jewelry and silversmithing. Donazetti was never a weaver, but one day was compelled to weave silver and that’s when the adventure began. She first colored the silver or copper with chemical patinas, but the colors were not satisfying. So she experimented with different materials until Donazetti mastered the process of painting and weaving copper.
“In 1997 I began creating two-dimensional abstract landscapes. My vision is to communicate with color, through the refractive lens of weaving, brief moments of light in the natural environment. I seek to paint changing, complex pieces that will inspire an emotional response and a sense of meditation.
The design process is complex and labor intensive, involving precise measuring and planning. I simultaneously gild and paint two layers, the warp and the weft, so that the design will remain through the weaving. I use 36-gauge sheet copper as my canvas and metallic leaf, transparent inks and acrylics for my paints because of the unique qualities each a material brings to the others. After sanding, I layer the acrylics, inks and powdered pigments on the warps and wefts, often including universal symbols in the design, or writing affirmative prayers under the leaf. The colors are intense and, when mixed with water, create a unique watercolor effect. After the paint dries, I wax the copper to prevent oxidation and facilitate weaving. I then cut the warps in gentle curves and weave the pieces together to lend a refractive quality to the paintings.”
You might see Donazetti’s artwork in such places as Bradley International Airport, Windsor Locks, CT; The Alaska Supreme Court, Anchorage, AK; The New Mexico Emergency Management Center, Santa Fe, NM; Time Inc. Conference Center, New York, NY; Mercy Medical Center, Des Moines, Iowa; as well as hotels, hospitals and corporate spaces. Or to view her available inventory, visit http://waxlander.com/artist/5/Suzanne-Donazetti.
Suzanne Donazetti grew up in Maryland and North Carolina. After living in Taiwan and Germany, she moved to Baltimore, where she worked in the Biophysics Department at Johns Hopkins University as a text editor and illustrator for scientific papers. In 1982 she moved to New Mexico where she learned to silversmith and to experiment with coloring metal. She worked for several years with chemical patinas, beginning with silver. She was dissatisfied with the colors of the patinas, so she began to paint on 36-gauge copper, using transparent acrylics, mica powders, and pigments. She is one of very few artists painting on copper and has developed her techniques through many years of experimentation.
In 1997 Suzanne stopped doing functional pieces and gradually moved into two-dimensional abstract paintings. Her vision is to communicate the possible harmony to be found in the natural environment, through the refractive lens of weaving. Because of this vision, she is frequently chosen to create site-specific pieces for hospitals and medical centers.
In 1999, Suzanne won her first public art commission for the New Mexico Emergency Management Center. The seven large panels—depicting scenes of the New Mexico landscape at different times of the day and night—were designed to alleviate the stress of the emergency personnel working in the building. In 2000, she was selected to create a series of tapestries for the main courtroom of the Alaska Supreme Court in Anchorage, Alaska. The project took eight months to complete and used about 700 feet of copper. In 2003, she was selected by the Connecticut Arts Commission to create a series of large pieces for the new departure terminal at Bradley International Airport, in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
Suzanne currently lives in Columbia, Maryland, near her children and grandchildren. Her artwork is shown by Waxlander Gallery in Santa Fe, NM as well as in corporate and private collections. She also participates in occasional art shows throughout the country, most recently the Frederick Festival of Arts and Artscape in Baltimore.