Growing up and working in the family bakery business near Roseburg, Oregon, Dorothy Steele had the skills of a professional cake decorator at the age of 14. She was encouraged to take more Home Economic Classes in high school, but found her real passion in the Arts. She went on to College to receive a BS degree in Secondary Art Education from Western Oregon University in 1972, and then worked as an art teacher until 1988. After moving to Portland she took advanced ceramics at the Oregon College of Art and Craft, where she developed a series of hand built ceramic containers and bowls that were juried into the Contemporary Crafts Museum and Gallery in Portland.
In 1990 she moved into an industrial space in southeast Portland, where she created a community for other artists, taught ceramic classes, and produced her pottery. In 2010 she moved her studio space to her home in Gresham Oregon. During this time Dorothy has participated in many retail craft fairs, juried shows, wholesale craft markets, and currently has six galleries in Oregon and one gallery in Washington that show and sale her work.
Dorothy now works in her home studio in Gresham and focuses on shapes and textures from ferns, leaves, rocks, and other natural objects. She presses these textures into slabs of porcelain, creating organic functional pots that come to life in glazes of brilliant greens, blues, reds, and deep purples.