Zimmerman’s Delaney Gorecki: She has a way with clay

Delaney Gorecki discussed her Dr. Seuss-inspired pot along with other projects at the Zimmerman High School art classroom. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
Delaney Gorecki discussed her Dr. Seuss-inspired vase along with other projects at the Zimmerman High School art classroom. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Arts Editor

Delaney Gorecki was working on a Dr. Seuss-inspired mug when the Star News visited her Tuesday in Zimmerman High School’s art room.

“This is one of my favorite things I’ve ever done,” said the senior who’s become a prolific potter. “I’ve worked on it a long time.”

Nearby on a table were two finished pieces of a recently-completed four-vase set depicting earth, wind, water and fire. On shelves were four of six mugs she churned out last week.

Gorecki is the kind of creative, self-starting artist that teachers love to have in class.

“Delaney is a dedicated, self-motivated student who never takes the easy way out,” observed Tina Kryduba. “Over the past two years I have seen her challenge herself by expanding her work in clay.  She takes risks with her work, knowing that sometimes the risk will not pan out, but willing to grow from her experiences in both failures and successes.”

These are two of Gorecki's four vases from a "four elements" theme. The one on the left includes burlap and mesh. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
These are two of Gorecki’s four vases from a “four elements” theme. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


Gorecki, who started pottery in ninth grade, has gotten fast and efficient with the potter’s wheel and likes to turn out lots of pieces like those six mugs last week, and a project last fall when the Art Club enlisted her to “throw out a lot of bowls” for their spaghetti dinner fundraiser.

“As I’ve gotten better and faster at the wheel,” she said, “I am able to create a lot faster and I can focus more on design than construction.”

After producing about two dozen pieces in Clay I and II, where the curriculum was more structured, she’s being turned loose this year in Class III and IV and has churned out almost 20 vases, bowls and cups. Clay IV is independent study; Gorecki uses her free second hour of the day to work.

“Delaney has a growth mindset,” said Kryduba. “She is always looking for ways to grow as an artist.  She is proud of her work, but never stops reaching for more.”

Among her bolder projects was one of four elements vases (the left one in the photo) which included fiber clay, burlap and mesh.

Gorecki favors items you can actually use.

As a ceramics artist, Gorecki prefers to make functional items like these cups. She did six of them one week recently.
As a ceramics artist, Gorecki prefers to make functional items like these cups. She did six of them one week recently.


“I usually do functional pieces like vases, cups, bowls, table sets, tea pots,” she said.

Always eager to move on to something else, she adds, “My next project will be a bird feeder. I’m looking forward to that. I’m also going to do some bird houses that can also be used as flower pots.”

Asked what her masterpiece so far has been, Gorecki mentioned a teapot she keeps at home. She says she could probably sell some items but prefers to keep most of them them to herself while giving others to friends and family upon request.

“I have a lot of them in my room, and mom always uses my bowl sets for breakfast,” said Gorecki. “Actually, I’m kind of lucky I’ve got two houses, my mom’s and my dad’s, because that gives me more places to put them!”

Gorecki is not the lone creative person in the family. A great-uncle she never met was a potter by trade and her family has several of his pieces. (“He was really good!”) Her father, Christopher, is an artist. Delaney says he’s done such projects as murals, decorating children’s rooms, and paintings on canvas. Her step-mother, George A. Keller, is an actress who has appeared in several of the Twin Cities theatres. Her younger brother does ceramics and younger sister enjoys photography.

She not a single-minded arts geek, also participating in volleyball, DECA, National Honor Society and Art Club. She was girls basketball manager last year. She also makes jewelry.
“This is mainly a hobby,” said Gorecki, who plans to attend the University of Minnesota and major in the sciences, “but I will definitely keep going with art.”