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Donna L. McGee

Biography to Display: 

1952 Born Chicago, Illinois


1974 BS Re-creation, Art and Society, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, Illinois

1977 Jacob Cramer Centre for the Arts, Leeds, Yorkshire, England


1978—present  Studio Potter

2011-2014 Assistant to the Editor, Studio Potter        

 2015-2020  Research Consultant, The  Marks Project 

2020 -present Research Manager, The Marks Project



Donna McGee works in wheel-thrown or slab-built, low-fire, red earthenware clay. The surfaces are decorated with slips, underglaze pens, pencils, stains, and chalks. Surface decoration begins by applying a layer of slip, then scratching through layers of slip using the sgraffito technique.

The drawing forms the base she uses to structure the rest of the surface work. These spontaneous drawings are based on her sketchbook drawings of the human figure, fields, farm, and domestic scenes. McGee fires her work in an electric kiln in an oxidation firing. Drawings and motifs on her pieces are inspired by constant sketches of people, places, domesticity.

McGee also experiments with her first clay, stoneware, fired in wood or gas with soda or salt. 

Public Collections


Bibliography to Display: 

Butler, Ruth (Ed.).  Ceramics Monthly International Competition. The American Ceramic Society, Columbus OH: 1999. 

Fairbanks, Jonathan and Angela Fina. Best of Pottery. Boston, MA: Rockport Publishers, 1996.

George, Phyllis. Crafts in America. Fort Worth, TX: The Summer Group, 1993.

Fina, Angela and Christopher Gustin. Best of Pottery, Volume 2. Rockport, MA: Rockport Publishers, 1998.


CV or Resume: Click Here to Download


Artist's Studio: Donna McGee



Center for CraftCenter For Craft



AMOCA American Museum of Ceramic ArtAMOCA American Museum of Ceramic Art


Typical Marks

Signature (last name only) incised into raw clay, sometimes through contrasting slip. Locations: On bottom of thrown pots, on back of slab work.

ca 1978-1982
ca 1990-1999
Date: ca 1990-1999
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown (Engobe brushed on, ceramic pencil and underglazes, transparent glaze, oxidation fired. Grapevine handle hand-crafted by artist.)
Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.5 x 10.8 inches
Surface Technique: Underglaze
American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA), gift of The American Ceramic Society, 2004.2.70ab
Photo: TMP
American Museum of Ceramic Art (AMOCA), gift of The American Ceramic Society, 2004.2.70ab
Photo: TMP
Photo: TMP
Nine Faces Tile Mural
Date: 2007
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Mixed Methods
Surface Technique: Engobe, Matt Glaze, Oxidation Fired, Sgraffito
Photo: John Polak
Three Tumblers
Date: 2014
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Brushwork, Engobe, Glaze, Sgraffito, Slip, Underglaze

Three wheel-thrown tumblers with painted slips, underglaze paints, pen, chalk and crayon.

Collection of Mary Jo Pehle, Mary Beth Stork, Kathy Ann Taylor
Photo: John Polak
Collection of Mary Jo Pehle, Mary Beth Stork, Kathy Ann Taylor
Photo: Donna McGee
Date: 2017
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Woodfire
Photo: John Polak
Photo: TMP
Date: 2018
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Brushwork, Glaze, Slip
Photo: TMP
Form: Platter
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Slab-Built
Dimensions: 23 x 9 x 1.5 inches.
Surface Technique: Slip, Underglaze
Photo: John Polak
Blue Mug
Form: Mug
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown
Dimensions: 5 in high x 4 in diameter
Surface Technique: Ceramic Pencil, Chalk, Clear Glaze, Engobe, Slip
Photo: TMP

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified May 5, 2023.