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Studio Ceramics Canada

Introduction

Ann Mortimer at her "Umbrella Escapade" Exhibition.

Ann Mortimer at her “Umbrella Escapade” Exhibition.

Welcome to Studio Ceramics Canada, the site where information about 20th century and contemporary studio ceramics and ceramists in Canada is available. This is a website and blog focusing on Canadian studio pottery. Enjoy reading and learning about key players in the history and development of Canadian studio ceramics. The site will continually evolve as updates and new information are added or shared by artists, collectors, guilds and galleries. Individuals, organizations and institutions are invited to participate in sharing content, memories and the like for the site. The site has the following objectives:

Paula Murray

Paula Murray

To document the development of Canadian studio ceramics from around 1900 to the present. This will include the activities and impact of artists, aesthetics, styles, schools, organizations, collectors. To document “who’s who” in the many branches of the Canadian ceramic world, particularly the contemporary scene. The initial phase will focus on the artists themselves. To develop a venue for creators, collectors and educators to share information and knowledge about themselves and their colleagues.

Ruth Gowdy McKinley, courtesy Lauren McKinley Renzetti

Ruth Gowdy McKinley, courtesy Lauren McKinley Renzetti

This website and blog cover a period where ceramics moved from a European and American inspired movement of urban amateurs and rugged rural individualists, through the development of Leach-based and oriental sources of inspiration, to today’s developments in “art”, exhibitions and collections. Ceramics while somewhat familiar to most is often little understood.  Thus ceramics is at the same time a people’s art and a fine art. The  intent of this site, especially for contemporary artists, is partly to get behind or beyond the artist’s website and partly to open things up, since much of the content is in hard to access regional archives, collections, articles, theses, and books: hard to access if you do not live in a big city or near a large university or museum library.  Again, to stress the point, unlike printed material this site will be continuously updated as artists and collectors provide new information and images. I have had the privilege of personally interviewing many of the artists you will see on these and future pages. These interviews form part of many of the biographies and analyses.

Alexandra McCurdy, 2011

Alexandra McCurdy, 2011

I started this research and site not just for the work but because ceramic artists are the most multi-talented people I know. Who else works with earth, fire, air and water? They are not only artists, creators and designers but also geologists, chemists, physicists, historians, business owners, architects, engineers, and website and blog designers. They are people who can appreciate the value of serendipity and surprise: what goes into the kiln does not always come out as expected. They are patient and persistent. Although a pot or other form can be created in minutes the firing takes hours, days. What does not work the first time might work the next, or the next. Sometimes their work is communal, especially in the firing phases, sometimes it can be quite lonely as in the production phase. But perhaps the characteristic I appreciate above all is their openness, their sharing, their friendliness. Research has never been so enjoyable. This site is dedicated to them.

Barry Morrison