woman-owned * single-owner small business * art inspired by nature 

My name is Danielle and I am the artist/owner of Autumn Phoenix Designs. Here's a bit of my story and why I do what I do.

I grew up in a suburb of Milwaukee (West Allis) and was never really connected to nature, other than going to the park or visiting state parks. I studied Biology in college, and even then, I went through life pretty much entirely disconnected from the natural world around me.

I moved to the opposite corner of Wisconsin for my teaching career (I've clocked 10 years as a high school science teacher) in a small, rural community. It wasn't until about two years ago, my husband and I moved to a house on about three acres of land, that I finally started to connect to nature.

Our three acres of land provided something I didn't even know that my soul was craving.

Shortly after moving, we got a few goats (as pets, not for food or dairy), and taking care of the goats forced me to get outside every day--no matter the season or weather. I began to notice things that I was never even aware of before. I watched trees cycle from bud to dying leaf and back again. I found tiny flowers amongst the grass that I never even knew existed, because I never thought to look. I steeped in the peaceful silence of a quiet winter morning, with the snow absorbing sounds in a way that the grass of the summer simply cannot do; I used to avoid winter as much as possible, and while it's still my least favorite season, I gained a new appreciation for the beauty of that time of year. I started to pay attention to the moon, the stars, the sun, and noticed how they changed position in the sky as the days came and went. I quickly learned that one of the most beautiful things is just sitting quietly outdoors, just taking in all the rich sounds, smells, and sights--no matter the season.


When I found wire wrapping, it woke a creativity in me that sat dormant for over 30 years. I was quickly drawn to making trees--it wasn't that I sought out how to do it, but rather, I firmly believe that I was called to do it, and I simply followed a calling.

At first, it was an irresistible force--there was not enough time in the day to satiate my hunger for creating. Now, I work when I feel drawn to it; sometimes that's three days in a row, sometimes that's three days between projects.

Have you ever looked closely at a stone--like, really looked close? Have you ever wondered where it came from, or how long it took nature to make the particular piece in your hands? I look at things so differently now--I love that I have the scientific understanding of how things are created and work, but there's this undercurrent piece, too--of feeling the awe of the larger force of creation. I'm constantly in amazement at how cells work--they are so crazy-intricate and complex--and they rarely make mistakes as they carry out their life processes day in and day out. And then you put trillions upon trillions of them together to create a larger organism--like a tree--and wow. Just wow. The coordinated dance that they perform, that which maintains life, seems utterly impossible...yet it works. The magnitude of my awe and reverence for life has increased a million fold since actually paying attention.

It doesn't matter whether or not I sell what I make. I mean, yeah, it's nice 😛, but I create what I do because it brings me joy, because it fulfills my deep human desire to create, and because (which I didn't realize at first, but do now) it provides me a way to say back to nature, "Look at how utterly beautiful and amazing you are....I will help show others your magnificence."



In early February 2019, I went to a class on basic wire wrapping techniques, and it opened the floodgates for a dormant, untapped creativity to flow out of me. Wire wrapping became a therapeutic outlet for me, keeping my hands busy and quieting my mind. I didn’t realize how badly I needed to just create.

I started with simple pendants, but soon I felt the pull to learn to make wire trees. I watched a YouTube video and quickly learned how to make them. I also started making more complex wire wrapped pendants, dream catchers, mobiles, and more...

I had no idea how much creativity was in me until it started to come out! It was like the opening of a floodgate. And soon, my passion led me to create Autumn Phoenix Designs.


I went to a 2-hour workshop in January 2020 with my husband, and I immediately loved the stained glass process. My parents used to do stained glass together and had a ton of materials in storage--a grinder, tools, glass, etc--and they gave it all to me.


I started playing around with the process at home in July 2020, and quickly took to the art, adding it to my repertoire. 

To play, press and hold the enter key. To stop, release the enter key.

Instagram Feed