Jane Duross

Jane Duross

Concrete Artist

November 10, 2015


Duross Concrete & Clay




Maker's Mart Edition: In an effort to celebrate the creativity you can experience at Maker's Mart, a local indie craft fair organized by Handmade Toledo, we are featuring Jane Duross, a favorite vendor who you can find at the show on Saturday, November 14th. Learn more here.

Tell us more about some of your past projects?

In 1991 I started working with polymer clay and silver. I made jewelry and beads for shops in the Toledo area. After many years of jewelry making, I began looking for a new challenge. I put the clay aside and began making concrete pots. Last year I found a greatspace for a workshop in downtown Toledo. Putting the shop together was quite a project, but this larger space made it easier to work and stock inventory. This year I participated in Flower Day at the Farmer's Market, the Lighthouse Festival and the Ohio Master Gardener's Conference. My pots can be found at Handmade Toledo, Devoon and Abundant Living Gallery in Wyandotte, Michigan.


What current projects are you working on?

I am currently working on pieces for Maker's Mart: Indie Craft Fair on November 14th. I will continue to work on perfecting different concrete recipes for stepping stones and pots. This winter I will spend quite a bit of time experimenting with ideas for concrete lamps.


What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?

Toledoans are very approachable and supportive. There is a spirit of generosity and a willingness to help artists connect with other artists and resources.


Tell us about one of your greatest successes.

Years ago I participated in an English language skills program for children and adults in Szeged, Hungary. Several Toledo educators created an English course infusing the arts throughout the curriculum. Students actively participated in English instruction during art, dance, music and drama classes over a four week period. I taught the music and movement class. The overall atmosphere was filled with energy, excitement and color. By the end of the course, I believe the students had a very rich experience. I was happy and proud to be a part of this collaborative effort. 


Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?

Family, friends, nature, music.


Tell us about your background.

I was exposed to art and music at an early age. When music classes were offered in grade school, I signed up to play the flute. I continued private and group instruction through high school. This positive experience gave me the background and necessary tools to go on to study additional instruments later on in life. In the late 60's and early 70's, I attended the Saturday morning classes offered at the Toledo Museum of Art with my brother and sister. The paintings and sculptures we studied made a huge impression. Each class also provided us with the opportunity to work with paint, clay, charcoal, plaster and chalk. I'm sure I didn't realized it then, but those initial art classes introduced me to the joy of building and working with my hands. My brother and sister continued to study art and went on to earn degrees in Sculpture and Art History. I chose to study elementary education and received my teaching degrees from The University of Toledo and Marygrove College. I taught in Toledo for 30 years, finishing my career at Grove Patterson Academy in 2013. Though I did not teach art during the school year, I found ways to incorporate the arts in many subject areas. During the summer months, I taught music and art in various programs locally and abroad.


Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?

"Fulfillment derives not from lofty achievement, but from ordinary feats. It arrives not once in a lifetime, but every moment of the livelong day."  - Karen Maezen Miller


Favorite place for local culture?

Toledo Museum of Art


Toledo’s “best kept secret” is:

So secretive. I have no clue!


My favorite place to chill locally is . . .

I like to go to Michael's Bar and Grill to catch up on reading while having a scrambled egg.


My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . .

Wabash Cannon Trail


When I’m not working hard, I can always be found:

Swimming at ESCLEW.


If you could change anything about the current landscape for creative, progressive people . . .

I believe the landscape has changed because individuals in our community have stepped up, have made the effort to bring about an environment that supports creativity. My task is to use my interests/talents to help support these creative endeavors in very tangible ways.


Any exciting collaborations (past or present) you would like to tell us about?

I think Jessica Crossfield does an outstanding job providing an amazing venue for local artists at Handmade Toledo. I enjoy our conversations and her creative posts on social media. I also enjoy working with Mary at the Ben Sell Greenhouse and Denise and Mary at Lakewood Greenhouse.


Name one person (living or deceased) who you would love to collaborate with.

Judy Collins.


Name a CD, book or website you can’t live without.

At the moment, Hamilton: an American Musical.


3 words that best describe me or my work are . . .

Gritty, functional, solid.


Give us 5 Desert Island Album picks.

Gypsy Kings, Live

Joni Mitchell, Love Has Many Faces

Annie Lennox, Medusa 

Gospel Truth Christmas

Van Morrison, Irish Heartbeat


My biggest vice is:

Ice cream. Well, that's the one I'm willing to share.


I’d like to see more _____  in Toledo.

Bike paths.


What’s the last dream you recall having?

Someone pierced my nose. The post was too long and had a diamond on the end. I took a few breaths and decided I didn't like it, so I pulled it out.


The last lyric that moved me was . ..

"There are moments that the words don't reach. There's a grace too powerful to name."  - It's Quiet Uptown


One movie character I identify with is...

I could be the fourth McGrath sister in Crimes of the Heart.


The best gift I’ve ever received was:

My mother's engagement ring.


My most inspiring moment is:

This moment. Now.


I want my last meal to be:

A surprise. I'd rather not know ahead of time.


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