interior designer, product specialist
I have been working with some facet of building, design, or finishes for over 30 years. If you count high school and primary interests, then my whole life. As a child I “refreshed” my bedroom every year near the start of the school, a right of passage I suppose. I have always taken note of a space when I walk in, how does it make me feel or what do I feel like doing in this space? How would I rearrange it to make it feel better?
I earned a BFA, from University of WI-Milwaukee, where I also double majored in Architecture for 2 years. I was on my way to graduate school for Historical Preservation of architecture but discovered Durango instead and had to move here immediately. Tapping into the history of the southwest, I sought out adobe construction and discovered my love of natural plasters. Soon I was building strawbale and adobe homes with a special interest in the finishes. I apprenticed during that time with Carole Crews, a well known natural plaster guru in Taos, NM where I also assisted her two summers in a week-long workshop. I met my husband there and together we started a plaster company, Hansen Handcrafted Finishes. Knowing there was a need for non-toxic finishes in the four corners, I ventured on to open “handcrafted house” in 2011. Since then my design services have grown through the customer service I offer in the shop. I’ve done some online classes in Interior Design and since has been at the forefront of my work for the last 5 years, where I continue to a high level of customer service and love of ‘space’.
interior designer, artist
I have deep roots in the Durango community. I was introduced to the concepts of designing, building and working with what you’ve got at a very young age. My family purchased a plot of land with a single wide trailer. The valley in which it was placed is one of the most magical in the area but the trailer was filled with mice and quickly removed. The cherry on top was waking up to a little mouse friend in my bed. While waiting for the very delayed arrival of a new modular home to arrive, I was introduced to creative ingenuity as we made the most of a sheet metal carport and a family sized Walmart tent. Once the building arrived, my brother and I traded in the house sized mud pit (foundation) for the commencement of building a home. We had very minimal hired help every summer there was some sort of house project. I remember my excitement imagining what the house would look like with finished floors, kitchen cabinets and stairs instead of cinder blocks. The creation of home continued well past highschool graduation.
After graduating DHS, I went to study Studio Art at the University of Vermont where my passion for alternative methods of creating was ignited. From here I took my passion and moved to Los Angeles to further expand my creativity and to experience a diverse, vibrant, city life. Living in LA was a culture shock beyond my wildest dreams.
As year six of LA life rolled around, the Corona virus showed its silver lining and brought me back home to the magical valley just outside of Durango and back to living out of the revamped sheet metal carport and this time, instead of a double wide tent I was now enjoying studs, floor and roof of a new home my dad was/is building on the property. As things shook themselves out I decided to stay in Durango and moved back into the house I grew up in. As tradition goes, I undertook the project of completely re transforming the interior and experienced the true power of transforming a space. This project is how I met Sheryl, clay plaster.