Little Donkey Sunshine
4h x 2.5w x 3.5d, mid fire clay, glaze
Katrina Roeckelein (Trinka) is an award-winning artist working primarily in clay. She is a native
Washingtonian and earned her undergraduate degree from Duke University and then her MFA in
design from George Washington University, prior to a career as a real estate agent and graphic
designer. She hopes her animal sculptures will elicit smiles and inspire respect for animals and
the environments needed to sustain them.
Hippos, elephants, giraffes, donkeys, a bright orange flipper and even a Frog Prince are examples
of the whimsical indoor/outdoor sculptures Trinka creates out of clay. Growing up in Washington
DC, she has witnessed the transformation of DC from a sleepy, small town into a bustling,
heavily trafficked city with wildlife and people often sharing the same spaces. Her interest in
conservation deepened while on many safari trips to Botswana. She is captivated by the wild
animals … their shapes, sizes, movements, sounds … and the variety and vastness of the African
bush. Her custom art reflects elements from both locations and the complex coexistence of
urbanity and nature.
Trinka works in clay to create custom art for home decor. She uses clay as her artistic medium
because of the way it feels, its tireless unpredictability and technical challenges, and the endless
variety of surface treatments. She fires each piece multiple times to build layers of oxide, glaze,
underglaze, or luster. Every piece is unique, which underlines clay’s basic connection to the earth
and complements the intrinsic one-of-a-kindness in nature. Her aim is to appeal to both young
and old viewers through the playful quirkiness inherent in her sculptures.