I am returning to clay again after years of exploring other mediums. I find it fascinating to start with a lump of clay, watch it change colour through the first firing, and then see it’s beauty and characteristics appear as it transforms after the final firing. For now I am focusing on hand work and taking the time to enjoy and explore different shapes and pieces.
I like simplicity in shape and function, taking inspiration from nature. Have you ever studied a mussel? The ridges on the shell and the glorious purples, browns and creams inspire and delight me! As a painter of both pictures and furniture, I always lean toward the decorating aspect of finishing a piece, so I am looking forward to dabbling with glazes, learning to blend and mix.
I am currently building my inventory of Christmas tree decorations for next season. These will be available in sets and great for school fundraisers.
Feel free to contact me if you have any queries.
I grew up in England and the island of Malta in the Mediterranean, surrounded by history and art. This instilled in me a strong interest in sculpture and art. I work with animals, especially dogs, and this has influenced the ceramic work that I do.
I began pottery in 1979 with lessons at Douglas College in Surrey; after a long break due to motherhood and work, I revisited this hobby shortly before retiring from teaching. Taking pottery classes through White Rock Recreation, studios at the Surrey Art Centre and Burnaby’s Shadbolt contributed to my development. Joining Semiahmoo Potters in 2007 gave me “hands on” experience in glazing and firing techniques. The club’s goal to “connect through clay” has enriched my craftsmanship working with such a variety of potters.
I enjoy making functional ceramics people find useful; while recovering from a broken wrist I focussed on tiny sculptures and jewellery. Though preferring wheel work, I also create many hand-built forms. My love of forests, beaches and gardening influences my glaze colours choices and organic shapes. It is an all-consuming passion with endless possibilities; I'm excited discovering new styles and contours and colour combinations.
I have been throwing pots since university. Taking Chemistry classes was a bit heavy so I started off-setting them with an art course every semester. The school only had 3 levels of classes, so by Junior year, the professor gave me the keys to the art building and I was taught to load and fire the kiln- back in those days it was all manual so you stayed up all night to watch over the kiln. No wonder she so eagerly passed the torch to me!
Life and jobs and lack of equipment stole me away from the wheel for years, but in the past dozen years I have found time (and room) for a little leisurely ‘wheel time’.
As a full time realtor, I have a hard time finding as much time as I would like, but try to commit a few hours a week to my basement. I enjoy the process, the relaxation, and the inability to answer the phone.
It is a delicious hobby. Your cupboards are full of your own dishes, you have endless gifts for friends, and your brain never stops creating – even as you drive down the freeway.
Glazes are becoming a passion for me as well, and I hope to find more time to delve into the chemistry of their makeup and learn more about the intricacies of creating new recipes.
For the love of the soul – find time to get away from the world and enjoy the earth!
About 55 years ago, I made my first clay pot from clay my sister and I found on our farm in Saskatchewan. Fast forward to 2000 - when I finally took a pottery class and I've been hooked ever since! When on the wheel, I use porcelain....seduced by it's buttery-soft fine grain. My wheel made 'open' bowls, usually end up with random carved interiors. I prefer carving the 'inside' because the pattern is visible without picking up the bowl, and it invites one to touch/caress the piece.
Four years ago, I 'flew' off my bicycle and injured both arms and hands. For two months I had a nanny 24/7, and became severely depressed. Not knowing if I would be able to work on the wheel again, I bought a slab roller, made my own 'stencils' and started making tiles from a terra cotta clay. I now have over 200 patterns - including animals, horoscope signs, birds, and buildings. I often say that I can 'put' almost anything on a tile!! My tiles are thin, straight and can be used in customizing backsplashes, fireplace 'center pieces', etc.
This past year I took several mosaic classes, making hangings from random snapped glass tiles. I am currently making thin sheets of textured clay and plan to make mosaic pictures from my own 'snapped' tiles. My work has 'found homes' in most of the provinces, about 15 states, the Philippines, New Zealand, England, South Africa and a few European countries.
My motto: "There is beauty in imperfection" - Unknown
My mother kept the pinch pot I had made as a child...and now, I proudly display it as my 'profile portrait'.
contact - email@example.com
Wheel Thrown and Hand Built Ceramics
2 year credit courses in Ceramics at Douglas College in the 70s, as well as a small studio in my home until the early 80s.
Classes at The Art School of Peterborough from Richard Hayman, the founder.
In 2009, joined the Semiahmoo Potter's Club in Surrey where I have enjoyed the offerings of a studio, educational and motivating workshops and the support and friendship of fellow potters.
Nicole starting taking pottery classes at the Surrey Art Centre in 1996 where she learned the basics of throwing, hand building and glazing. Over the years her technique and understanding of the process has developed into a style that is both functional and beautiful. Nicole’s focus is on bowls, bakers, mugs and platters and likes simple glazes that enhance the look and style of each piece. Joining the Semiahmoo Potters in 2007, Nicole enjoys being a part of a group of like minded potters who share their knowledge and experience to help each other grow. Pottery is a hobby that she enjoys between work and family life and finds the process both relaxing and challenging.
Sherry MacDonald attended the Alberta College of Art studying ceramics and majoring in Photography with her first major assignment being the 1988 Olympics in the Kodak Media Center. In the last four years she has renewed her love and fascination with clay enjoying countless hours in this artistic medium at the South Surrey Arts Center. She is a member of the Semiahmoo Potters Society, Semiahmoo Arts Society and the B.C. Potters Guild.
Clay holds a great fascination for me. Transforming from its soft, cold, malleable state to a warm cup with coffee, or an artifact unearthed centuries from now, its mysteries keep me intrigued and hopeful of the outcome.
Clay is a very personal object for both the creator and the admirer.
Susan was born and raised in Vancouver British Columbia. She showed an early aptitude in visual art which lead her into future studies at the Vancouver School of Art (now Emily Carr), receiving the Helen Pitt Fund scholarship for first year students.
Susan continued her studies at Langara College finishing the two year Fine Arts diploma program and then attended UBC receiving her Bachelors degree in Art Education. Susan has always been involved in showing and selling her work in various shows and is a long time active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists based at Granville Island. She has recently become a member of the B.C. Potters Guild and the Semiahmoo Potters Society returning to her love of three dimensional work through pottery and sculpture.
Susan lives in South Surrey with her husband and has three adult children. Over the past thirty years Susan taught art at the high school level. She ran an after school clay club program for grade 8-12.
Now in retirement she finds time and energy for the development of a body of work exploring combination functional and sculptural pieces using pottery antiquities and Canadiana as her inspiration. Susan has participated in four shows in the last year featuring her ceramic sculptural work in south surrey and in downtown Vancouver and is looking forward to exploring the possibilities of this versatile medium.
My passion for pottery started in the late eighties
when I made hardy, if not particularly refined, treasures that graced the coffee tables of family members for years. Life took me to several communities in Alberta where, if I was lucky, a pottery studio was nearby. Since moving to the west coast 7 years ago I have found my niche with the Semiahmoo Potters’ family, where I enjoy being inspired by my fellow “pot head” friends in a warm and welcoming studio environment. For me, pottery is a means of creative expression and my therapy of choice. The pieces I create range from simple and functional to eclectic and unique. Some of my favorite pieces are those that start with a specific design in mind, only to morph into totally different, one-of-a-kind creations.
Surrey Civic Treasure, Don Hutchinson was an inspired ceramicist who delighted in sharing skills and his lifetime of knowledge as an enthusiastic and encouraging teacher. He began making pottery in 1964 and continued until his death in November 2018. He taught ceramics at Langara for 30 years; a Canadian icon and Canada Council Grant recipient, his skill with creating glazes from natural elements earned international respect. His main interest was functional table ware and whimsical sculpture, which impart the sense of joyfulness he felt when making something from clay. Museums and ceramic history were great passions for him. He greatly enjoyed talking to groups and doing workshops. Don’s participation in Semiahmoo Potters sales and events, and valuable contributions as a teacher and mentor continue to inspired club members. Crossroads, his final show this September, was a mixed media art display of fibre arts, sculpture, ceramics, paintings and drawings. Don shared pop-up gallery space in the White Rock Central Plaza with three other artists.