Visual Arts


Top view coil patterned ceramic vessel sits in grass. Crosshatch markings around the middle. Dark smooth glazed interior, alternating rough and smooth exterior.
Coil work clay vessel by Dawn M. Ellis

As a clay and ceramic artist, Dawn has worked with clay since she was five.  As a student, she studied with Hunt Prothro using a kickwheel and at Duke Ellington School of the Arts (bronze mold sculpture).  As an active clay artist, Dawn has affiliated with various collaboratives such as Vermont Clay Studio (Waterbury), The Clay Studio at Absolam Jones Center (Delaware), where she first began experimenting with Raku clay. Glen Echo Pottery (Maryland), University of Vermont Living and Learning Studio (Burlington) and Burlington City Arts Clay Studio (Burlington).

Strappo Monoprinting

S shaped curve of river runs through verticle Strappo monoprint full of blues, purples, and etchings of waves.
“River Runs” Strappo monoprint.

While teaching arts partnerships as a guest at the University of Wyoming’s statewide institute, Dawn learned Strappo monoprinting from her institute neighbor, artist Katie Christiensen.  Bringing this technique of monoprinting back to Vermont, Dawn further explores the technique during her time as artist-research-in-residence at the Vermont Studio Center. 

Strappo, meaning “to pull”, allows printing without a printing press in a rough hewn approach to monoprinting with an image this is first pressed then pulled off glass. The texture of the visual works brings in three dimensions through use of etching, layering of different colors, the crackling of the pull. Works range from larger planned works to the improvisational small pieces as Dawn’s commitment to sustainability includes using up paints and materials left over from larger works in visual sketches.

Strappo Steps


Dawn captures photographic images on her journeys almost daily to inspire, inform, and share new perspectives on the world. Nature intersecting with humanity, texture, geometry, and color often feature in her works.