About Rogier

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A professional potter, Rogier earned a degree in Fine Arts from Indiana University, Bloomington. In the late sixties and seventies Rogier and his wife Ellen, an accomplished jewelry designer and goldsmith, operated the Donker Art School, first in Bloomington IN, then in Indianapolis. They exhibited at the very first Broadripple and Penrod Art Fairs and attended both fairs for over ten years, winning their share of first prizes and purchase awards.

As the workshop consultant and ceramic artist for the American Art Clay Company, Rogier traveled throughout the United States and Canada instructing teachers in the use of ceramic equipment and materials. He also demonstrated extensively in the schools ”entertaining young and old with his mad antics on the potter’s wheel”. When their son Elias came into this world Ellen and Rogier closed their store and gallery in Indianapolis and moved to the country to raise their son.

Working in stoneware Rogier has created many, many commissions, including the trophies for the US Olympic Swim team that was meeting the Russian Olympic Swim Team in Milwaukee in 1980 as well as all the “favors”, prizes and awards for the American Dairy Goat Association’s National Convention in Indianapolis in 2006. The pottery is now part of the total Donker Studio ”endeavor”. That “endeavor” is spread throughout these pages and offers but a hint of what life can be if given over to Our Creator, God Himself!

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An independent consultant, artist, potter and kiln repairman, Rogier did school demonstrations for over forty years until, a few years ago, he was diagnosed with silicosis. A form of emphysema, silicosis is an occupational hazard reserved just for potters, shortness of breath and an inability to take in enough oxygen to function “normally” silicosis definitely put a crimp in Rogier’s style and caused him, much to his chagrin, to stop school demonstrations.

On doctor’s orders Rogier now sleeps with oxygen and carries an oxygen tank wherever he goes. Just prior to the silicosis diagnosis, the Wabash River took possession of their home of 28 years and Rogier and Ellen found themselves having to build a new dwelling. Now, Now almost ten years later, the house is practically finished and Rogier is once again working in the studio.

  • Click here to read Anneke’s page.
  • Learn more about Rogier’s story here.
  • Click here to read about the portrait mystery.