In 1968, Denny Long a 3D design (ceramics) student at Bristol Art College (now UWE), travelled to Japan to research glaze techniques and materials for her dissertation. It was to be a pivotal point for her in many ways. With an introduction from Janet Leach, a visiting tutor at Bristol Art College, she stayed in the ceramics village Mashiko, in the home of Shoji Hamada the celebrated potter. She also became deeply interested in Zen Buddhism, which has influenced many aspects of her life and work.
Denny's etchings manifest a minimal approach to the medium, employing fine linear techniques combined with aquatint, Chine collee and collagraph. She uses universal symbols both ancient and timeless, the circle signifying the cosmos, the sun, the moon. The spiral, an idea of death and rebirth, rice grains, all living things or good fortune, the square, emblematic of the four corners of the earth and the triangle a favoured motif, representing a mountain or the posture of meditation. Both her printing papers and inks reflect the colours of nature, terracotta, ochres, browns, blacks and greys. The overall effect of her work is one of calm, order and simplicity.