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Dori Settles, a native of southeastern Wisconsin, discovered her passion for the arts at a young age through piano lessons and children’s art classes. During her high school years, she found joy in writing poetry and actively participated in the Forensics and Debate teams. It was during this time that she first encountered American Sign Language while watching the movie “Children of a Lesser God.” Intrigued by the language, Dori eagerly enrolled in classes and dedicated time during senior year to volunteering in classrooms with Deaf students. Eventually, her love for ASL led her to become a certified sign language interpreter.
Her experience as a sign language interpreter plays a large role in her view of the world. Working in diverse settings with individuals of varying backgrounds, including the Deaf-Blind community, Dori developed a profound appreciation for the spatial and tactile elements of her surroundings. This heightened awareness extends to her deep connection with nature.
Dori’s artistic journey began while she was a dedicated stay-at-home mom. With a strong desire to be environmentally friendly, she explored the world of fiber arts, using materials she found at thrift stores to create unique and creative pieces. As a fiber artist, Dori actively participated in numerous group exhibitions, with her remarkable piece, “Bioluminescent Forest,” now proudly displayed in the permanent art collection of the Beatrice Public Library in Nebraska.
A multifaceted artist, Dori embraces various mediums to convey her messages. She has thrived as an installation artist, leading the creation of two large-scale temporary fiber art installations and indoor murals. Her renowned series, “Before We’re Gone,” which sheds light on endangered animals and plants, has been showcased in both Nebraska and North Carolina.
Driven by her fascination with the intricate aesthetics and technical aspects of glass art, Dori has consistently pursued workshops to refine her skills and techniques in glass fusion (since 2013), kiln-casting (since 2015), and pâte de verre (since 2018).
Pâte de verre remains Dori’s preferred and primary technique in her artistic practice. Whenever possible, she incorporates salvaged glass into her creations, showcasing her commitment to sustainability. Much of her work draws inspiration from the beauty of nature, exemplified by a glass leaf ornament that graced the People’s Christmas Tree at the White House in 2022.
Today, Dori draws immense inspiration from the enchanting forest surrounding her home and studio in the mountains of North Carolina. When she’s not immersed in her creative endeavors, she delights in spending quality time with friends, exploring the wonders of her new home state, and actively contributing to her community through website building and volunteering.