Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Tuesday October 26th, 2010

John and I are off to New Zealand

to cheer on our friend Jane Rumball

Here she is with a spring lamb!!!

World Cup Rowing Races

Jane is on the Canadian rowing team

She's in the quad boat

Catch it on the internet


Friday, July 16, 2010

Linda brought her years of experience and expertise. Linda's pottery is located in Lindstrom, Minnesota. Here she is firing her own kiln.

In June a group of us had Linda Christianson come to wood-fire with us!
We build this kiln "Beaulah-dene" at Barb Murphy's farm in 2006
and she fires like a beauty. Catenary arch with firebox enclosed.

Here she is loading the kiln: we learned so much from Linda as she talked about all the ins and outs and rationale for putting pots in certain places
- it was all good.
Celia Brandao, Heather Daymond and Terry Osborne are on shift in the early stages of the firing.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

GT - good times!
Cathi Jefferson, Linda Christianson, Barb Murphy
and Kim Harcourt. Kim, what happened, one leg is shorter?

GT - more good times!

Heather Daymond, Monica Johnston chatting,
Terry Osborne coming from the wood shed.

GF - good food!

Gourmet salmon by Louise McCann.

Over the years I have found that generally speaking, potters love to garden, cook, eat (and drink)!

Our pot luck dinners at wood-firings are exceptional in this regard.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Some photos from June 6th the day of the reception for our current exhibition

at the Burlington Art Centre.

This exhibition can be seen until August 1st

First thank you to all who attended in support of Shane Norrie and myself.

It was very much appreciated!

Shane and I were given the opportunity to speak briefly about our work

as we led a group through the Permanent Collection Corridor.

Since 1997 when I moved to Ingersoll, Shane and I have been in conversation about ceramics. About 2002 Shane and I began firing our work in the BAC gas kiln. Often Jonathan Smith, ceramics curator, would come look at our results as we unloaded the kiln. We would continuously discuss our results together, critiquing ourselves and each other's work. In 2007 Shane and I had an exhibition at the Carnegie Gallery in Dundas, Ontario, and of course, it was called "Conversations". A few years later, we were both invited to participate in an international "Chawan" (The Art of the Noble Teacup) exhibition in Belgium.

Although we share the same landscape of ceramics, our explorations go in different directions. I love to explore the effects of different kinds of firings on my work. Since I am partial to fire, I especially love the physical activity of the constant feeding of a wood-kiln. Every five minutes one must throw 4/5 pieces of wood into the firebox for a period of 24-30 hours. The resulting build-up of ash is drawn through the kiln chamber giving the pots that wood-fired look. Recently three other potters and myself built a soda kiln. The action of adding soda into the mix of fire offers up a lovely sheen over all the pots; the results of the vaporization of the soda. The live flame licks throughout the kiln weaving its magic in the gas kiln, the wood-kiln, and the soda-kiln, not to meniton the Raku kiln! I love it.

Shane, on the other hand, explores the textures of glazes and multi-firings. He has explored hundreds and hundreds of test-firing various chemicals by themselves as well as various glazes. This compiled with the multiple firings at different temperatures has given him a vast range of textures to play with and choose from. Anyway, all this to say, we hope you enjoy viewing our exhibition.


Monday, June 7, 2010



If any guild or group would like me to come and do a Raku Workshop for a day at your location,
please do not hesitate to contact me via email,


or call 519-485-5561.

One fish,

Two fish

(Aldo R. showing me his two beauties)

Penny Mc. watching as Patricia R. is smiling!

Glazing Raku pots is FUN!
Josee P. and
Jude W.
are right into it -
copper lusters,
blue velvets,
white crackles,
crusty rusty!

Saturday June 5th, 2010

Raku Workshop with Pinetree Potters Guild

on Sarah's Farm near Aurora.

Here's Ed K. firing Ann's big pot,

and Ann M. putting a lid on it!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Mar 29–Apr 9
"William Daley & Thomas Daley: Collaborations."

Building pots and making buildings/a visual conversation is a collaboration for building between a father and son. William Daley (artist) and Thomas Daley (architect).

Organized by Thomas Daley.

I could not resist putting in a few pictures from this exhibition. I have long admired these pots on the printed page, so it was pretty powerful to see them in person and of course to touch them!
I heard him give a dynamic speech at a previous a NCECA conference.

Here's a quote from Hugh McNichol......

"Last Saturday, I attended William Daley’s exhibition, “Vesica Explorations,” at Swarthmore College. The exhibition of clay pots executed by Bill over the past 20 years is remarkable. Each piece is reflective of the artist’s fascination with the material of clay and it’s intrinsic link between temporal reality and spiritual transcendence. Bill Daley is the patriarch of the American pottery world and a revered figure in the Delaware Valley.....

He explained his process, with drawings on the white wall in his studio, (which he painted over after each piece was completed), explained the transcendence of clay, the mysteries that unfolded in the manual working of such a simple ingredient such as clay and how the material has been an essential part of all human history since man first fashioned a clay vessel for domestic use. Bill cited the Book of Genesis and how God formed man with clay and clay has accompanied man as a essential element ever since."

Attending NCECA's conference (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) in Philadelphia this year was one of the best times. And of course the road trip was one of the highlights. Travelling with Barb Murphy, Heather Daymond and Terry Osborne is always good fun and good conversation, all seasoned professional potters. And meeting up with good friends Liz Willoughby and Ron Roy is a treat! The city of Philadelphia was full of gallerys showing ceramic exhibitions, and my favourite was William Daley's strong architectural vessels. The conference was full of good lectures, panel discussions, small group discussions (especially about wood-firing), a large hall of excellent distributors and I am sure the demonstrators were fine (this year I did not get to see them). Looking forward to next year in Tampa, Florida. Check out the website www.nceca.net

THIS IS FROM SHANE NORRIE www.shanenorrie.com
"I was very pleased to be asked to exhibit at the Burlington Art Centre, from May 8, until August 1, 2010 alongside my good friend Shirley Clifford, who is also from Ingersoll. The exhibition was organized by Curator of the Collection; Jonathan Smith, M.F.A., who is one of Canada's foremost authorities on ceramics. Although the show is now open, the official opening and artists' tour and talk is on June 6th, from 2-4pm. I have posted a couple of images of the exhibition installation, but this is only a small portion of the work.About the Burlington Art Centre: A multi-faceted facility nestled next to Lake Ontario in the heart of Burlington, Ontario. It is truly a centre for art, supporting artists, staging exhibitions, nurturing a nationally and internationally recognized ceramic collection, and serving the community.Permanent Collection: From its early foundation, the BAC also expanded to become home to a permanent collection of ceramics, vigorously acquired since 1983. The BAC Permanent Collection of Contemporary Canadian Ceramics has achieved international recognition and is the largest such collection in Canada. It continues to grow in size and artistic depth. ( I was very pleased to find out that I have a few pieces included in this terrific collection!) http://www.burlingtonartcentre.on.ca/ for more information."
This is one of the smaller showcases that we like. Jonathan Smith, the curator of the exhibition, has selected Shane's sculptural highly textured pieces and one wall piece/platter to stand with my vases and teapot for a pleasing combination. They look great with the sunlight streaming through the window into the corridor.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Masterworks Southwest Exhibition
will be at
Tom Thomson Art Gallery
in Owen Sound
840 First Avenue West
from March 28 til April 25th
If you click on this site, you can see the booklet catalogue for this show.
Extremely creative and ingenius items to dazzle you.
Here are some Thoughts from the Jurors:
Rhona Wenger
Lois Etherington Betteridge
Christian Bernard Singer
We considered each piece according to the criteria established by the Ontario Crafts Council: craftsmanship, expression, innovation, and excellence. What we found was genuinely impressive. The overall quality of the works submitted was high, which is a pleasure to see, for it indicates a community of artisans who are not afraid to push their media technically, emotionally and experimentally. All of the works that were accepted into the show stretch the expected boundaries of the chosen medium in some way. We included some pieces that are elegant and sophisticated, where the maker has exhibited extraordinary technical virtuosity. Other pieces combined unusual or unexpected materials, at times even understating their mastery of technique to achieve effect and meaning. The quirkiness that comes from an underlying sense of humour is also much in evidence.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Today was the first day of our exhibition in Ingersoll.

Shane's paintings which echo the feel of his ceramics, have seen much success and are included in collections in Ontario, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia, Utah, and New York. They are also included in the RBC Corporate Collection, County of Oxford Collection, as well as HSBC Executive Collection, New York, N.Y.

There will be a reception on the last Sunday of the show, April 18th, from 2-4 pm at the Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

This vase is one of a series in an exhibition called "Reaching Up".
This porcelain vase is functional and has a celadon glaze similar to those used
by the Chinese potters in the Tang Dynasty.
Then surprisingly low-firing Raku glazes are poured over the celadon to give a fluid melt of
reds and blues and greens.
They were all fired in a high-fire gas kiln.
The bases by contrast add a substantial grounding to the vessels
and are fired with a black lava glaze.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Today I shipped this Raku vase to Tom Thomson Art Gallery in Owen Sound. This is the first venue for a new exhibit called "Masterworks Southwest".
This is a porcelain vase with a clear glaze fired in a Raku kiln.
As soon as it comes out of the kiln, it is oversprayed with ferric chloride.
This chemical bonds onto the molten glaze and created
the gold/orange luster surface.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

These ritual vessels mark special occasions. Celebrations and feasts which deservedly require a unique ceramic piece of art to commemorate and give us a lasting memory of togetherness and community.

The largeness of the emptiness says 'fill me with abundant harvest'. We want pour out an abundance of good times and good results from our hard work. The logical contrast is from our everyday ware used to facilitate our repetitive, sometimes mundane activities.

The large bowls are about special get togethers, sharing bread together, celebrating special events together. The tall legs elevate the offering to give a ritual blessing. The elegant curl of the foot is a reference from classical vessel bowls used to celebrate the Athenian games, the forerunner of our Olympic games.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The big bowls have been loaded into the kiln!

This will be an oxidation firing cone six in my gas kiln. My electric kiln is on the blink!

Friday, February 26, 2010


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Am finally back on my blog.
Having trouble getting into this, getting tongue-tied, I think. Can anyone out there help me with this? Any suggestions?
Anyway, here is a new image of one of my favourite forms. A reference to ancient Shigaraki storage jars.
The rough texture is from feldspar which I brought back with me from Shigaraki, Japan. It stand almost 30 cm tall. Wood-fired with various Shino glazes.