Donna Strawhand Winslow first discovered a passion for art and crafts-making after her grandmother taught her to crochet when she was 5.
Now herself a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, Winslow said she enjoys “creating art of every kind.” But she’s found a niche transforming sheets of copper into detailed ornaments and pieces of art.
Winslow designs custom art, wall hangings and ornaments through her business, The Copper Hammer. Her ornaments are available at the gift shop at Museum of the Albemarle, the Chowan Arts Council and the Whalehead Club Museum Gift Shop. She also accepts custom orders.
Winslow first began using copper in her art after taking a professional jewelry class at College of The Albemarle in Dare County.
“I fell in love with working with copper,” she said.
While Winslow finds the metal to be cooperative when creating her designs, she has to be very attentive to the process because it is “really delicate.”
“It requires intense focus,” Winslow said.
One of Winslow’s favorite creations is “Peace on the Pond,” her own interpretation of the impressionist painter Monet’s water lily pond. Winslow’s creation is a framed piece with copper as the medium.
Many of her ornaments incorporate holiday, wildlife or beach themes. However, Winslow likes to be challenged to try new things and says she can incorporate “any kind of theme you are interested in.”
One of her holiday-themed ornaments is a poinsettia that’s composed of four layers of copper riveted together. It’s created through an extensive process that Winslow says is “extremely time consuming.”
A retired elementary school teacher, Winslow lives in Elizabeth City and maintains a studio at her home. Winslow said she taught her son, Glen Strawhand, who lives on Knotts Island, how to produce designs from copper and he often assists her with her studio work.
For more information about Winslow’s work and custom orders, email the artist at firstname.lastname@example.org.