Dora Natella was raised and educated in Italy; She studied sculpture in the classical tradition at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. Upon graduation she moved to the United States for advanced studies in bronze casting techniques and for the opportunity to immerse herself in a new culture with fewer direct connections to a classical past. She went on to earn an MFA in sculpture at Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo, MI. She taught sculpture at IU Bloomington and The University of Oregon. She has continued a practice that includes both her own creative work in the studio and her teaching practice at IU South Bend in the Fine Arts Department of the Raclin School of the Arts.