Today we’d like to introduce you to Danielle Oliver.
Hi Danielle, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
I was born in Canon City, Colorado 1991. I have always fascinated over the beauty of nature! I did my best in science and art during school, while other classes seemed to really suffer for my attention. I worked in the medical field as a CNA before graduating high school in an alternative setting. Traveled around and lived in a few other countries but always found my way home to the mountains, rivers and snow. I opened a coffee shop/art gallery in Howard, Colorado with my sweetheart Michael in 2017. We featured local artists and delicious treats! Live music, wine nights and so much community. I found out I was pregnant and due in June 2019 with our incredible ray of sunshine. It was such a difficult decision, but we made the choice to move back to our hometown and close to family. We packed our entire life and lived in a camper until finding the perfect home for us. I went back to working as a waitress to have flexible hours for our kiddo and my sweet, working as a diesel mechanic. I continued to develop my art and dream of different projects at night when I could not sleep. The desire really became overwhelming to preserve moments. Life goes by so quickly; We often dismiss moments and simple pleasures until it becomes our favorite memory. I began experimenting with capturing and preserving real snowflakes to create artwork that would magnify the beauty often overlooked. I was humbled to find a place of peace and serenity for myself too.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I spent over a year working on process and technique. So many ways the initial capture can be achieved! Many nights working into the wee hours of the morning and still waking up to be with my Juniper living her best life. After capturing, the work has just begun! The snowflakes must cure for a few weeks before they can be worked with. Patience and curiosity often got the best of me. I have shed many tears for melted snowflakes that are now just beautiful ghosts in my mind.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Each snow crystal is captured by hand! When snow begins to fall, we setup and watch. Temperatures must be freezing for snowflakes to begin forming dendrites! Collection is a race against time! I keep my art studio freezing; However, light, movement or breathing in the wrong direction can damage the crystal before the process begins. As an artist, I find my paintbrush is the best extension of fingers to manipulate. The favorite snowflakes are then transferred onto microscope slides for the preservation and curing process to begin. Our Method is based off a basic polymerization, using chemical reactions to change the molecules from liquid to solid in essence. Like-minded individuals have been creating slides and imprints with superglue, hairspray and various other household products for years! The human mind is truly a beautiful place. I create jewelry and mixed media art utilizing the snow crystal captures. Currently, we are starting to install snowflakes in our Snow Light Observatory. This will be the first immersive art installation featuring thousands of real snowflakes preserved in glass. Each one will be magnified to enjoy the layers of wonder and mimic the perfect snowstorm. I estimate three years to finish but will be accepting visitors soon to enjoy the process. The 10ft geo dome is a family project and has been built with the guidance of my sweetheart Michael James Masse, truly an artist himself. We hope to bring a speck of joy, hope , and curiosity to those that care to find it.
Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
Michael Masse my sweet, my friend, my heart, my soul.
- Website: https://www.junkbox.shop/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/coloradojunkbox/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/coloradojunkbox
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCSOGtEtC4zfjsHEjRbM3l1Q
- Other: https://linktr.ee/coloradojunkbox