This week’s featured Monday Maker is the story about the collaboration between two high powered New Yorkers who traded up the ‘work only’ mentally of many city people for the more meaningful and quieter pace of the country.
Please meet sculptor and furniture artisan, Daniel Oates and his ceramicist life partner Dana Brandwein and their two loyal friends.
For years Dana served as a music industry executive for Elektra Records – managing AC/DC, Bjork and Jet to name a few. It was a life of ‘all work and no play.’ Daniel was an acclaimed sculptor represented by 303 Gallery and well known in the 90s NYC art scene for his handcrafted sculptures. He also worked non-stop in his Williamsburg Brooklyn studio. They hardly saw each other. In 2002 they began looking for a country house with a barn where Danny could have a studio and sculpt and the two could unwind together. They chose Sharon, CT known for its rolling hills, scenic vistas and raw natural beauty.
The plan was for Danny to live and work in Sharon and for Dana to come up on the weekends. Weekends were a time for cooking, eating and enjoying the country and for Dana it was also an opportunity to rekindle an old interest in clay, porcelain and ceramics.
Quite naturally her weekend hobby turned into a love for making and working with her hands.
Dana’s new journey – away from corporate to making exquisite simple luxuries for the home – had begun.
Suddenly Dana’s weekend pursuit took off among friends and family and before she knew it, she had left NYC and Elektra for good. In 2007 Dana incorporated under the name of DBO HOME and made her first foray into the wholesale market by attending the prestigious NY International Gift Show at Javits Center in NYC. DBO HOME was an instant success, garnering much interest from the many discerning retail buyers attending the wholesale market and looking for the next special maker and quality American Made product.
Today, Dana works out of her home business, surrounded by the rural beauty of the hills in Sharon, CT. Danny’s artisan talents are an integral part of DBO HOME. His furniture making skills are evident wherever Dana’s exquisite pieces rest, be it on a coffee table, a mantlepiece or arranged in the kitchen on shelves.
The two artisans have created a sustainable and environmentally driven lifestyle in Sharon. Dana uses hydro-power to fire up the kiln for her locally sourced clay.
She gathers natural material from around the countryside to inspire product design.
They live farm-to-table
supplied by a delectable looking vegetable garden
while Danny indulges in another of his passions – bread making.
Danny’s main work within DBO HOME is designing and building high end custom furniture.
He is a true artisan crafting with passion and making pieces to be cherished for a lifetime.
Working in his barn studio, Danny’s extensive talent is put to use in every aspect of the DBO HOME collection as the two collaborate on many different levels.
Dana has the benefit of Danny’s skills in mold making – a very expensive component for any ceramicist.
His work is invaluable in his prop building for the many pop-up markets and trade shows that DBO attends.
Finally, the two artisans collaborate in lighting, making graceful pieces that will beautifully light up any corner of your home.
And occasionally, Danny has his own show where all his incredible talent in bronze casting,
woodworking and furniture making
to boat building,
all come together in one important space.
Dana’s ceramic collections consist of pieces where texture is the focus.
Other pieces are all about color
while others are about exploring shape.
She is a sought out maker and designer for custom work spanning not only her surrounding area but across the United States and internationally as well.
Witness a full dinnerware set shipping out to its new home in the Philippines.
Dana has been commissioned by many famous restaurants to design and craft pieces for their hospitality use.
Dinnerware for the Whitehart Inn in Salisbury, CT.
Check presenters for ABC Kitchen in Manhattan, NYC.
Small plates and platters for Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Pocantito Hills, NY.
Dana has collaborated with John Robshaw, designer of beautiful block printed fabrics, bringing his vibrant textile patterns and colors to life on porcelain.
The crafts of the two artisans have been exquisitely brought together to form a unique, eclectic collection of quality American Made products for the home.
All New American is delighted to present another ‘Made in the USA’ company. Since 2007, DBO HOME, a small business located in Sharon, CT has been crafting world-class exquisite tableware ceramics, housewares, furniture and lighting inspired by nature and a way of life that holds the ‘small treasures’ of our everyday existence of utmost importance. Danny and Dana can be proud to be part of the American community that is fuel for the engine that makes America great.
Thank you for giving us your time today. Have a great week. The Team.