Donovan studied at the University of Saskatchewan’s Regina Campus from 1963 - 68 in the College of Education and the College of Arts, Department of Visual Arts. Don has studied with Jack Sures, Mike Stiener and William Wiley. He has taught for the Department of Visual Arts and was instructor and Studio Head for the Extension Department’s ceramics studio 12 years. His philosophy, he says, is, “If you’re going to make a mug, the first thing you do is make it beautiful; the second thing you do is make it functional.”
Raku is characterized by hand-molding of the clay, low firing temperatures, and removal of pieces from the kiln while still glowing hot. In the Western practice of raku firing, the hot pieces are placed into a combustible material such as sawdust or wood shavings, to provide a reducing atmosphere for the glaze, and to stain the exposed surface with carbon. The oxygen required for the shavings to burn is drawn from the glazes on the pots, rather than from the air (this also turns any unglazed clay black). The final result is that each piece is unique in shape and colour.