The Potters Place Gallery is thrilled to be able to highlight two of our amazing potters throughout the month of August. Come on in and check out our featured windows to see beautiful examples of both wood firing by Maeva Collins and Soda firing by Sue Taylor. We are truly lucky to have such stunning representations of both kinds of firing, right here in our valley… and at The Potters Place Gallery throughout the year, but we thought you should really get to know these two artists, up close and personal, so we are featuring them both throughout August. Come in and enjoy this feast for your eyes and your soul.
The creative process has always been an important part of my life. In the past, I have danced, taught classical ballet and contemporary dance, painted, ridden in dressage competitions, coached dressage and have been an Equine Canada dressage judge.
Although quite different, they all require an eye for good form and an appreciation for beauty and movement. Clay for me has been a truly free form of creativity. It’s mesmerizing to watch a ball of clay transform into a beautiful vessel. Throwing on the wheel is my favourite part of the process and the amazing sensation is still with me every time. During the first few years of creating with clay, I enjoyed making tableware but now I love to create large pieces that are somewhat sculptural.
Throughout my experience with clay, I have never felt the need to save a pot but instead have felt that the next one will be better. Because of that, I have been able to push the envelope; take one more pull, trim closer and not worry about the chance of losing it and with that comes better understanding and better skill. Inspiration comes from my surroundings. I live in the beautiful Comox Valley on Vancouver Island surrounded by the ocean, rivers, mountains and rain forest. I have always felt a deep connection to the ocean and find the ocean a spiritual, emotional and physical inspiration. Living on a small acreage allows me the freedom to pit fire and wood fire my creations. In both cases I rely on the firing process to produce dramatic patterns that draw the viewer in; nature never leaves the same mark twice. Both pit firing and wood firing give me the opportunity to have an intimate experience in the process from the beginning to the end. Following a firing, I have
found, in spite of the careful planning and preparation, there are always more questions than answers.
In our predictable world, primitive methods of firing result in a creative spontaneity. Potters make the pots and the flames that dance throughout the pit or kiln, create texture, patterns and visual magic. I derive great joy in creating my vessels and my hope is that others will find as much pleasure in viewing and touching these pieces as I have in the making of them.
Sue is a long time valley resident and a co-founding member of the Potter’s Place Collective. She lives and pots on her rural property in Merville. Sue and her husband have built a sprung arch gas fired salt kiln which she uses to achieve the traditional “orange peel” effect on her porcelain work. Sue creates both functional and one of a kind carved pieces.