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Now at FOUND: Antique Tin Expressions by Lori Daniels

About a week ago, I had the opportunity to meet artist Lori Daniels and her life (and art) partner, Stephen White of Mapleton, Illinois. I brought back over 2 dozen pieces of Lori's art of various sizes from small 6x6 tiles to a huge 9 foot tall glazed painted tin totem collage. This artwork is called Antique Tin Expressions because the "canvas" is actually antique embossed tin, mostly salvaged from tin ceiling panels, circa 1860 through the early 1900s. Lori mixes paints, resins and glazes in a unique manner to create the most amazing color effects on the tin pieces. With Stephen's assistance, the tiles are mounted on wood stretcher frames or assembled into collages. The effect is stunning! Lori and Stephen share a love of antiques. She was once an antique dealer and Stephen is a noted Folk Art dealer and picker with a passion for great pieces. Their home and gardens are absolutely overflowing with antique collections which inspire the colors and patterns of her art. It was a true feast for the eyes (not to mention the feast of homemade french toast Lori feed me)! Garden treasures filled the spaces between her porches and outbuildings. including a wonderful assortment of Victorian-era white iron benches, fabulous old tables, rusty garden chairs, architectural salvage, clay pots in antique holders, watering cans, signs with great patina, welded repurposed metal indians and other sculptures by various outsider artists. 2 old Coke machines formed surfaces she uses as workspaces to paint on. I left my camera in Ann Arbor... next time, the gardens will be in bloom and I promise to take pictures. If I thought the yard and outbuildings were interesting, there was more to discover inside her home. Stuff filled every nook and cranny. Lori has been collecting Majolica pottery and could write a book on it - I saw painted cabinets filled with more of this amazing Victorian tin glazed pottery than I have ever seen at any antique show. She had it artfully arranged in vignettes with her painted tin original works. I could have spent a full day just exploring each room of her home. Seeing the antique Majolica glazes displayed side-by-side with her handmixed trademark glazes made me understand her connection to the artists and potters of 100 year ago. From a distance her art resembles Pewabic tile. In fact the patterns in ceilings would minic the fireplace tiles and other decorative arts of the era. In this detail from one of Lori's totems, you can see the variety of patterns that can be found in the tin tiles she paints and glazes. It was interesting to hear her refer to each style of tin by the name of the building it came out of. I purchased several pieces for the shop that she referred to as "International Harvester", from the building in Peoria that a distinctive pattern of tin ceiling tiles was salvaged. Recently, Lori started incorporating vintage license plates, tin containers, hardware and other recycled items in her artwork. The bold vintage #6 is part of the series she calls "On the Road Again". That's something I say whenever I head off on a road trip, so of course I needed to bring a couple pieces from this collection back to FOUND! Here's another tin "quilt square" (my term) with a vintage coffee tin - a perfect compliment to the mid-century California pottery on our table at the shop this week. Art + antiques abounded! What fun to get to know the artist behind these unique pieces that have made their way to FOUND. Thanks to Stephen's packing skills, we fit more in to the van than you would think possible. Their studio and home were overflowing with creativity! From the fabulous pottery collections to the dozens of antique flagpoles in a pot in the corner, to a statue of St. Christoper at the top of the stairs, a gardian angel over the bed and blackened raku pots stylistically interspersed with her artwork surrounding the whirlpool - it was such a treat to get the grand tour of this artist's home! Learn more about artist Lori Daniels at Or stop by our shop to see her work in Ann Arbor. If there are color palettes or particular pieces on her website that you are interested in, Lori will work with us to bring them to FOUND.