We are so excited to have 2 wonderful artists showcased during the month of July at The Potters Place Gallery.
Alan Burgess – Featured Artist
Alan was born in Manchester, England and began working with clay at the age of 13 at the Manchester High School of Art.
Inspired by the teaching faculty at Camberwell School of Art, Hans Coper, Lucie Rie and Colin Pearson, he set out on a long journey of exploration with clay.
The work he has produced over the last 59 years has been, in the main, an exploration of stoneware and porcelain clays, making functional, non functional and sculptural work.
He enjoys the surfaces and colours produced in wood-fired kilns, especially when using Shino glazes with their rich colour and carbon trapping qualities. Alan also produces work exploring qualities of soda firing with it’s textured surfaces. This work is often richly decorated with his sgraffito drawings based on ancient design.
His work has been exhibited across Canada, the USA and Europe. He is a long time member of ”Fired Up Contemporary Works in Clay “, a group of Ceramic Artists who have been exhibiting together for the past 34 years.
For 30 years Alan taught at North Island College, and was the department chair for 11 years, establishing the new Diploma program in Fine Art and Design at the new Courtenay Campus.
Judy Weeden – Guest Artist
More than 38 years ago, Judy left an academic career in biology to immerse her hands and head in the making of pots, first in Fairbanks, Alaska and now on Saltspring Island, B.C. She learned the basics, and much beyond, from Al Johnsen at the University of California Santa Cruz, and from Dean Schwarz of Luther College, Decorah, Iowa. Both were steeped in the Bauhaus tradition brought to this hemisphere by Ms. Marguerite Wildenhain. Serendipitously, one of the many workshops important in Judy’s development was given by Ms. Wildenhain.
She states: “Most of my understanding of clay as an artist’s medium has come from the mistakes, failures, hopes and successes the wilful clay throws our way.
My primary goal is to create work that synthesizes beauty and harmony both in a functional and a decorative context. My earlier work centred on wheel-thrown functional forms decorated with the geometric and organic/abstract patterns that I love. Now my pots span a broader range of shapes using a variety of forming methods and serving more decorative and ritual ends. Surface decoration is still a primary creative outlet and it is achieved both by slip-carving and impressing the malleable clay. Occasionally pieces are finished by glazing or by smoking in a saggar. No two pots are ever alike”.
EARTH AND WOOD
The Potters Place Gallery, in downtown Courtenay, is delighted to present Anne Marie Veale as our Feature Artist for the month of July together with her husband, Jason Marlow, an internationally recognized woodturner. This husband and wife team share a studio gallery at their home in Qualicum Bay.
Anne Marie’s work features her designs developed over a 30 year career as a studio potter. Platters, plates, teapots and jugs alike are comfortably weighted, solidly built for daily use and can go from oven to table with ease. What sets them apart from other functional pottery, is her colourful and whimsical decoration. Whether it be cats curled on a windowsill, pansies in a garden or a lovely country landscape, there is no doubt that Anne Marie Veale is an artist whose work will touch you.
Jason is one of Canada’s most distinguished studio woodturners, recognized internationally for his innovative and original pieces. He uses sustainable indigenous woods of British Columbia. He produces wall pieces to architectural scale as well as a wide range of smaller objects inspired by Vancouver Islands forests, rivers, mountains and wildlife.
We can’t be more excited. Come and celebrate with us as we ring in 25 years as the most amazing Pottery Collective on Vancouver Island. We celebrate 25 years and June is a perfect time to have a party.
Past and Current members of The Potters Place Gallery will be creating individual place settings for this event. We are going to be joined by Sushi Jo and Sweet Surprise Gluten Free Baking adding to the event with their delicious sushi and sweet treats. – wow.
JUNE 2 – 4 – 7 pm
Corner of 5th and Cliffe in Downtown Courtenay, BC.
parking at rear of building.
RED DOT SALE
January 13-21, 2017 at The Potters Place Gallery
Potters and the Creative Process
The Potters of The Potters Place Gallery are clearing out their studios. The frenzy of the holiday season has passed and the potters now have time to reflect on what worked, what didn’t quite meet
their goals and where they would like to take their art in the coming year.
Every artist and designer goes through a creative process. Potters are no different. There are as many different approaches to creativity as there are artists. Some prefer to create spontaneously; some choose a more methodical approach. Are spontaneity and method mutually exclusive? I think not. I believe they work together and that every artist, no matter how spontaneous, or conscious goes through four basic steps: 1) idea generation 2) work, experimentation and testing 3) self, peer, or mentor evaluation and 4) presentation. It is work, experimentation and testing that is important here.
There are a multitude of facets of pottery, so many, so that a potter could work a life time and still be learning. Sometimes potters choose to focus on one type of firing, or forming technique for many years. Then and opportunity arises to try something new, a spark is ignited and a new tangent is explored. During this exploration and experimentation every piece created may not be exactly what the potter is trying to achieve. It doesn’t mean this creation is not beautiful and will not completely fill someone’s aesthetic; it is just not what the potter was aiming for.
At the Red Dot Sale you will find the actualization of these stages of growth. The pots that are formed from pushing limitations and being vulnerable enough to try something new can be beautiful and lead the potter on a new journey. Sometimes a potter needs to clear out items that simply don’t fit into their new style, or did not work out quite as expected. You get to benefit from this by finding perfectly good pots at reduced prices at The Potters Place Gallery at 5th and Cliffe, in Courtenay during our Red Dot Sale. It is our way of saying thank you to our loyal customers and welcome to our new customers.
What a great way to find a home for pots that are practically perfect in every way.
Come and see a collection of truly beautifully made, and wonderful to hold pottery from Hanna’s studio on Quadra Island throughout November, 2016
We asked Hanna to tell us about her pottery and her life. Here’s what she said:
I started my pottery adventure producing honey pots for my family’s beekeeping business. I can assure you, it is not an easy start, as you begin with making pots with tight fitting lids that cannot leak the honey. When I finally had time for expansion of my business, I faced a serious question: what other pottery items could I possibly make?
20 years later I have a studio on Quadra Island, where I produce the whole assortment of items from mugs to casserole dishes. Yes, honey pots are there, too. I enjoy working on the wheel, producing functional stoneware. I like to take inspiration in the nature around me, either pressing leaves into wet clay, or painting natural motives with wax resist on raw clay, or on glazes. I like a deep, saturated colour, and overlaying 2 or more glazes. I fire to cone 6 – 7 in an electric kiln. I am hoping to expand to working with a slab roller.
In a spare time (not too much of it!) I like to go kayaking or hiking with my 2 dogs.
The Potters Place Gallery is open from 10-5 Monday through Saturday
We are at the Corner of Cliffe and 5th in Downtown Courtenay, across from the Sid Williams Theatre in the 5th Street Courtyard.
Parking is at the rear of the building.
To call ceramic artist/potter Maeva Collins one of our own, is such a coo.
She creates some of the most magnificent pit fired ceramic vessels in Canada and she lives right here, among us in the Comox Valley.
Her woodfired pieces all begin on the potters wheel and then many of them are alterred in shape, either to a square, rectangle, or in some cases, just a little attidude is given, as in her tea pots.
In The Spirit of Fire, an exhibition at the Potters Place Gallery for the month of July featuring Maeva Collins’ pit fired and wood fired ceramic art. Maeva lives and works in Courtenay on 3 acres which gives her the ability to fire her ceramic art creations with wood. These methods of firing serve as a link to ancient techniques and civilizations of the past.
Pit firing produces surfaces that are warm and sensual with patterns reflecting the natural world. Wood firing is an ancient method with a sense of ritual. The wood kiln is fired for 36 hours and stoked every 5 to 10 minutes.
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
Feature Artist Joe Stefiuk – December 2016. Joe Stefiuk has created a new batch of work, functional and sculptural with new themes for this month’s Feature Window.
He has introduced some new glazes and has used old ones in a different way.
This holiday, we encourage everyone, to think local – supporting local economies, local artists, and handmade/handcrafted works for your gift giving.
Come into the Potterss Place Gallery for Mugs and bowls with a west coast theme, and the most wonderful soda fired animal and bird masks.
You will find Joe’s ‘One of a kind’ tea bowls, Japanese beer mugs, owls, bears (like the one in this image), wolves and of course whales tails.
Now… Don’t fret, included in Joe’s holiday work, will be some old crows, fish, and cows. He has even made the perfect stocking stuffers… shooters (lots of them).
The Potters Place is located in the 5th Street Courtyard, 5th and Cliffe, Downtown Courtenay. 10 – 5 pm Monday-Saturday.
Parking located at rear of along the fence.
Charlotte Schaufelbühl’s pottery is full of folk imagery and brushwork. Her strong designs stem from her European roots. Imagine beautiful batik canvases. When you see Charlotte’s functional high fired pottery, you will notice that she employs similar techniques using wax as a resist from one glaze to another.
You will no doubt recognize her work the minute you see it. She makes very distinct and beautifully crafted mugs, bowls, butter dishes, teapots, casserole dishes etc. etc.
Charlotte’s work will be on display throughout November, 2015 at the Potters Place.
We know that Christmas carols have begun to fill the airwaves… There are so many wonderful gifts just waiting for you to choose from at the Potters Place. This year, we want to thank you in advance, for considering a handmade, one of a kind, locally crafted piece of pottery from one of your neighbours in the Comox Valley… a local potter.
We are located at the corner of 5th and Cliffe at the 5th Street Courtyard in the heart of downtown Courtenay.
Monday – Friday, 10-5. Parking at the rear along the fence.
Bountiful Beauty at the Potters Place during Elevate the Arts and throughout the month of June.
Wonderous Wood Fired Pottery from Local Potter Jaime Willms and Fabulous Fiber Art from Local Weaver and Fiber Artist Pat Simpson
It’s hard to find a place more ARTFUL and more LOCAL than the POTTERS PLACE at the 5th Street Courtyard in Couirtenay. A perfect place to visit anytime, including during Elevate the Arts.
This month we are doing something a little different for us, and we have invited guest artist Pat Simpson, who makes beautiful art for the table such as woven tea towels and runners (and more) and thought what a perfect fit as so much of the wonderful pottery you will find at the Potters Place is fully functional and perfect for any table.
Jaime Willms is our featured potter for June and her recent kiln load was sensational. She put it best…
“ The crackle of the fire is getting quieter. The kiln is telling us that it’s time to stoke again. We stoke, and a six foot flame shoots straight up into the air, lighting up the dark night. The kiln crackles it’s thunderous, happy song, as the flames lick their way through a maze of pots, and out the chimney.”
Wood firing is a process that goes back to the fifth century from Asia. When Jaime travelled through China, she saw old, abandoned, wood fired kilns that had been used in years past to fire such simple things as bricks and roof tiles. The old potters would fire their pots inside protective vessels called saggars, so that the wood ash would not disturb the glaze surface. However, modern day wood fired potters such as Willms, happily encourage as much of the
“fly ash” and fire marks to decorate their pots as possible. Kiln kisses, patterns from supports keeping the pottery from sitting and sticking directly to the kiln shelves knows as wadding, wood ash deposits, directional flame marks and warm colours such as ochres, rusts, and toasty cinnamons are achieved in part by ‘reducing’ the oxygen in the kiln at specific temperatures and for specific durations. These colours and effects are all coveted by modern day wood firers. The kiln is stoked round the clock for over 4 days with approximately 4 -5 cords of wood and the temperature reached is around 2500 degrees F.
Jaime’s display at The Potter’s Place throughout June, will feature pottery fired in an anagama wood fire kiln. This is a traditional 5th century Asian designed kiln. The vases and vessels in our FEATURE window are highly decorated, some by Jaime, and some in collaboration with artist husband, Dany Fortin.
Not to worry, we’ll be sure to also have available, Willms’ functional work, ranging from plates, teapots, mugs and bowls. If you don’t have a Jaime Willms pot yet, you will want to start your collection with a piece this month!
Come see sculptors and a variety of other artists in the 5th Street Courtyard during Elevate the Arts from June 3 – 6,2015