Creative Living

Danny D's Mud Shop


Working out of his garage-come-studio in Echo Park in LA, Daniel Dooreck or ‘Danny D’ fell in love with making ceramics after going to a class blindly whilst living in Toronto, Canada. Inspired by vintage Americana, tattoos and living in Southern California, he turns mud into ‘really nice’ pieces of art, hand painting each piece with his quirky illustrations. We caught up with him to talk all things clay...


GOODHOOD: Who are you, what’s your name and where are you from?

DANNY D: My name is Daniel Dooreck. I'm a potter by profession. I currently live in Los Angeles with my two trucks. I have a small ceramics company on the east end of Los Angeles in Echo Park. All my clothes are stained with clay, but I love it. 

GH: Have you always lived in Los Angeles?

DD: No, I moved here almost three years ago from Toronto, Canada, where I was working in food and wine. My family lives in Santa Barbara, however. So thats where I call home.

GH: Can you talk us through a day in the life?

DD: I get most of my best work done early morning, so I try to wake up around 6:30-7 am. Currently my studio is a short walk from my house, so I don’t have any commute. The world is just quieter that early, so I try to do some painting or throwing. I delay emails to about one day a week, as well as shipping. Sorry it took me so long to get back. These are probably the least fun parts of the jobs, so I compile it into one day. My work is interesting in that I'm always managing drying clay, so I typically perform some weird form of triage. My afternoons are based around whats drying the fastest, what needs to be trimmed, what needs to be carved, things like this. Since my posture is trashed from working on the wheel so often, I like to split my work day up with a yoga class. It’s a recent thing, but it’s healing and so worthwhile. If I don't make plans in the evening I’ll finish in the studio after dinner. Again, the world and my phone are quiet, so I can get a lot of nice work done.

GH: Love the videos you post from your street level-studio, chatting to your neighbours and passers- by. 

DD: It’s funny, I’ve actually been chatting with them for years now. It’s just recently I was like, “oh, maybe I should turn the camera around this time”. Never would I have thought the older people in my neighborhood would be such powerful marketing tools. 

GH: How did you start out with pottery, and how did it become a career? 

DD: I began pottery when I was a partner in a small restaurant in Toronto. I joined a studio blind, no classes or anything. I just became obsessed and ended up going easily 20-30 hours a week. It was therapeutic, and I'm a serial hobbyist. Once I split my relationships with the restaurant and moved to LA, I wasn’t satisfied with any of the work presenting itself in the city. Out of honest desperation and strategic planning I formulated a plan to do ceramics while maintaining a part time job in a popular wine bar. It was really fast to realize that the job in the wine bar was unnecessary, but I ended up meeting a lot of great people through it. It’s now been about a year and a quarter running the company. Growth has been surprising, and I'm really happy with everything now.

GH: Who and what influences your pottery work?

DD: My work is influenced by things I see around me. I love a good thrift and vintage store. Western art is one too. I think thats a big play from just living in SoCal. Also traditional American tattoos are important to my work. My medium is a little tricky. Smaller details get lost so the thicker lines and bold colors of the traditional American tattoos just plays well on the clay. 

GH: Congratulations on exhibiting your work in a gallery for the first time at the start of 2023. Is this something we should be expecting more of?

DD: Thanks!!! Dasha at the Hashimoto Contemporary is a friend of mine. I struggle with galleries often because of the markups, and it skews my prices on my website. I'd rather produce more and have more access to people in my neighborhood than just bump up the prices dramatically because of a large cut. I hope to one day have a studio where I can showcase my work on my own accord. In the meantime, I am interested in having shows though. Something based on western art, or maybe a show of only hanging lamps. I would name it “Watch Your Head”, and everything would be hanging.

GH: 5 favourite potters that we should know about?


@amiee_bryne_ceramics - incredible realistic artwork. I have one of her cigarette vases in my home. @emholmieceramics - boots and western stuff. I carve her boots here and there. @maddiecakesceramics - such playful designs. @studio.j.dubois - crazy vessel shapes, super clean looking glazes. @tomjenkinshello - my homie. An amazing illustrator and tattoo artist.

GH: What’s the key to a healthy work/life balance, particularly when you’re self-employed? 

DD: Key to a healthy work/life balance is sleeping well, staying active and setting boundaries. I'm a victim to work hour boundaries, but I love what I do so it’s easy to just brush it off. I’ll eventually have it down. It’s the hardest part of the job at the moment - not working too much. Maybe I say yes to too many things. Take care of yourself, work hard, and everything else will follow. 

GH: Favourite records you own, and why?

DD: I collect too many things already, so I leave record collecting to my friends. I listen to a lot of artist like Big Thief, The Black Keys, War on Drugs, Lucy Dacus, Chris Stapleton.

GH: Describe your home in 5 words.

DD: Small. Quirky. Colorful. Warm. Efficient.

GH: What does a Sunday at home look like?

DD: Some work for sure. Otherwise going a long drive. Working on my trucks. Having a beer with friends at night, going to a nice restaurant as well!

GH: What does your studio look like?

DD: Currently it’s a two door garage on street level. It’s packed to the brim. Tons of toys, lots of ceramics of course. It's dusty. Theres no plumbing and random electrical. It’s gone through many renditions as I acquire more things, but I love it. It’s amazing to think how much I've done out of this small space. But actually, I just recently signed a larger commercial artist lease I'm really excited for. I get the keys in mid-August and have a bunch of friends supporting me building it out. Lots of woodworking to make it warm and inviting. Big moves for me. 

GH: What’s your favourite artwork that you own, and how did you acquire it?

DD: A large snake painting from my friend @gordondouglasball. One of my first carved pieces I traded him for. I always loved his work but I couldn’t afford it. One day he was like, “you want to trade?”

GH: What are your 3 favourite items in your home, and why?


My panther lamp from Goods On Orange in Long Beach 

@jessfrancispetrie original painting of a skater kid drinking different Fanta pops

My mushroom lamp my mom let me have. It’s curved wood with a really beautiful warm light that illuminates all the details when turned on. 

GH: What’s your favourite thing that you’ve made?

DD: It’s called Farmers Market Girl. A large vase with a cool illustration by my friend @Joeycassina in Knoxville Tennessee. The first time I played with crazy colors. The vase now lives in Stockholm.

GH: Anything you’re currently working on that you can share with us?

DD: Asides from your large order for Goodhood, I have a huge restaurant project at the end of September where I'm outfitting a wall full of 27 vases all inspired by western art. I'm also building out that new studio, so stay tuned, it's coming fast.

GH: What makes you happy? 

DD: Doing what I love everyday, being kind and generous to people that support me, and watching people use my ceramics around the world.