Category Archives: Canada

Santo Mignosa: Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay

Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay: Santo Mignosa; my ceramics from the Mediterranean to the Rockies.
Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay: Santo Mignosa; my ceramics from the Mediterranean to the Rockies.

The internet is a marvellous tool to bring much needed information on publications on ceramists to a wide audience: books such as Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay.

Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay is not just a textual but also an extensive visual autobiography of Santo Mignosa from his earliest days in Sicily, through his studies in Florence, to his many years in Canada, especially BC. I will leave the provocative meaning of the book title to those who read the book.

A foreword by ceramist and historian Debra Sloan sets the context for Mignosa’s place in ceramic history. The meat of book is a much illustrated biography that includes My Story, an Author’s Note and Author Statement. What follows are sections on what may surprise many who know of Mignosa only through his BC pottery. There is so much more to the man with sections on Figurative Sculptures, Abstract Sculptures, Murals, Drawings, and Wheel Throwing, from his earliest years up into his latest life and activities in Aldergrove, BC.

There are recollections from his partner, Susan Gorris, and memories from artists Ken Clarke and Susan Marczak. His detailed curriculum vitae — yes he is an octogenarian artist who maintains an extensive resume of an extensive career — can only hint at the scope of Mignosa’s work in BC and internationally; and of course, of his influence on so many Canadian students and professional potters. The many illustrations of his work give a much needed display of a career that has roots in both the Italian Renaissance and 20th century Modernism.

MIgnosa’s range of ceramic work is impressive both in form and in scale. His functional wares are sturdy and colourful, with overtones of the Leach tradition; but he has also been comfortable throwing large “classical” amphora-style works, well over a metre in height. A favourite sculptural form is his abstract sculptures, frequently with Surrealistic overtones, with, for example, a face emerging from a clay matrix. Others are large vase and cylinder forms capped or enveloped by penetrated and lightly incised mantle- or cape-like extensions. Frequently with raw, unglazed surfaces these can be seen standing like sentinels or massive chess pieces lining a wall of his studio.

Then there are his figurative sculptures, especially the nude as a favoured subject. The influence of his studies in Florence, of the Italian Renaissance and Classical sculpture, are most evident here; and in works such as Springtime there is a nod to Art Deco.

Clay is in the very bone of Santo Mignosa himself. As he says:

“For me, clay is not just a medium through which I create objects. It is an inseparable part of me, a constant companion in which I find comfort, fulfillment and pleasure in its versatility and applications.”

Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay is a needed and welcome addition to the story of ceramics in Canada.

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Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay. My ceramics from the Mediterranean to the Rockies. Santo Mignosa. Granville Island Publishing, Vancouver BC. 2020. 126 pages.

ISBN: 9781989467329(softcover). $25.95 CAD, $20.95 USD. Available via your local bookstore, or Amazon.ca
ISBN: 9781989467275 (hardcover). $45.95 CAD, $40.95 USD. Please contact the Publisher for this version.

Birdsall-Worthington Pottery page added to studioceramicscanada.com

Cheers and Success for 2021 to all!

Welcome to the new page on the Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, potters, Pam Birdsall and Tim Worthington, https://studioceramicscanada.com/birdsall-worthington-pottery/.

For over forty years they have been a mainstay of Nova Scotia pottery. Although their work displays their individual interests and talents, it is always recognizable as their distinctive brand, Birdsall-Worthington pottery. Their earthenware works reach across many genres including functional, commemorative and jewellry.

Enjoy their story and let them know how much you appreciate their art and contribution to Canadian studio ceramics.

Donn Zver Page Added To Studio Ceramics Canada

Donn Zver today, at his Troy, Ontario studio.
Donn Zver today, at his Troy, Ontario studio.
Donn Zver. 1985. Stoneware Jar. Copper red glaze with a opal blue top. 33 x 22.9 cm.
Donn Zver. 1985. Stoneware Jar. Copper red glaze with a opal blue top. 33 x 22.9 cm.

I have added a page on Ontario potter, entrepreneur and animateur Donn Zver.

A key figure in developing and sustaining pottery in Ontario, Donn Zver has created a workplace and body of work that has earned him the wide respect not only of fellow potters but also the admiration and friendship of customers .

Enjoy the page. Let Donn know you have read it.

Donn Zver and Barry Morrison in front of his kiln, Troy, Ontario.
Donn Zver and Barry Morrison in front of his kiln, Troy, Ontario.

Valerie Metcalfe RCA Page Added To Studio Ceramics Canada

Valerie Metcalfe at 1000 Miles Apart conference, University of Manitoba. October, 2015.

Valerie Metcalfe at 1000 Miles Apart conference, University of Manitoba. October, 2015.

Valerie Metcalfe.. 2017. Skyscape/Landscape plate. Porcelain, solder, glass. 40.6 cm w.

Valerie Metcalfe.. 2017. Skyscape/Landscape plate. Porcelain, solder, glass. 40.6 cm w.

I have added a page on Winnipeg ceramist Valerie Metcalfe to Studio Ceramics Canada. Valerie has been a key ceramic artist in Winnipeg for over forty years. Her work varies from the elegantly functional to the eye-stopping artistic. The sample of works presented will give only a hint of her production but what a hint!

Enjoy the story of Valerie Metcalfe. Let her know how much you enjoy her work.

 

David Lambert Page Added to Studio Ceramics Canada

May 1st, 1974 -- David Lambert, potter, at his home in Ryder Lake near Sardis. Photo courtesy John Denniston, www.johndenniston.ca

May 1st, 1974 — David Lambert, potter, at his home in Ryder Lake near Sardis. Photo courtesy John Denniston, http://www.johndenniston.ca

I have added a page on David Lambert, potter and animateur to the studioceramicscanada.com website. Often referred to as the “father” of BC ceramics Lambert left a legacy that is respected by ceramists today.

Enjoy, and let me know me know what you think.

Tommy Kakinuma, A Major Retrospective

 

Thomas Kakinuma, Peacock (detail), glazed ceramic, 1963. Photograph by Ken Mayer Studios, 2018

Thomas Kakinuma, Peacock (detail), glazed ceramic, 1963. Photograph by Ken Mayer Studios, 2018

The Ceramic Art of Thomas Kakinuma, January 24 to March 10, 2018.

West Vancouver Museum

680 17th Street, West Vancouver BC, V7V 3T2

604-925-7295

Opening Reception: January 23, 7 to 9 p.m.

The Ceramic Art of Thomas Kakinuma is the artist’s first substantial retrospective offering a rare opportunity to see works from public and private collections. The exhibition is organized by the West Vancouver Museum, in collaboration with the Kakinuma Family, Debra Evelyn Sloan, Dr. Carol E. Mayer, Allan Collier and Stacy Reynaud.

Panel Discussion: Thomas Kakinuma in Context on Saturday, February 10, 2 p.m.  Speakers: Debra Evelyn Sloan (ceramicist), Dr. Carol E Mayer (curator), Allan Collier (curator/collector) and Stacy Reynaud (collector)

 

 

 

The Stoneware Gallery Page Added To Studio Ceramics Canada

The Stoneware Gallery, Winnipeg

The Stoneware Gallery, Winnipeg

Keeping in mind the contribution that influential pottery groups make to sustaining and training ceramists in various region across Canada I have added a page on Winnipeg’s The Stoneware Gallery.

Without a formal Manitoba provincial potters’ guild or association this collective is critical for the visibility and quality of ceramics of all types, not only in the province but across the country. The various artists involved over the years have been doing this for almost forty years. Remarkable!

Les Manning Page Added to Studio Ceramics Canada

 

Les Manning. 2007. Sun Up/Sun Down . Laminated stoneware, porcelain with celadon glaze, sandblasted. 18.5 x 25 x 21 cm. Collection: Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

Les Manning. 2007. Sun Up/Sun Down . Laminated stoneware, porcelain with celadon glaze, sandblasted. 18.5 x 25 x 21 cm. Collection: Alberta Foundation for the Arts.

I have added a page on Les Manning, artist, teacher, mentor to so many.  I hope the page gives you insights into Les the man, as well as Les the artist.

Les Manning. 2011 Carnival. 46 x 32 x 40 cm. Photo: Dianne and Cecil Finch.

Les Manning. 2011 Carnival. 46 x 32 x 40 cm. Photo: Dianne and Cecil Finch.

Les Manning’s roots are small town Alberta. His life has encompassed the world. Many can recognize his signature style of  mountain landscapes but his most recent works in the Common Opposites exhibition are pure Les Manning, free to be himself.

Enjoy the page. Let me know what you think.

Keith Campbell Exhibition: “50 Years in Clay: Still more to Say” at Jonathons, Sept. 14-30.

Keith Campbell. 2017. C/6 porcelain plate with photo stencil airbrushed, drawn, brushed, sgrafitto image with a clear glaze 35 cm wide

Keith Campbell. 2017. C/6 porcelain plate with photo stencil airbrushed, drawn, brushed, sgrafitto image with a clear glaze 35 cm wide

Keith Campbell  continues his commentary on Canadian history and politics with “TOASTING 150” celebrating Canada’s 150th Birthday with the portraits of the 23 Prime Ministers of Canada on porcelain toast. The works are part of a 50 years retrospective, “50 Years in Clay: Still more to Say“, at Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery in London, ON, from Sept 14 to Sept 30th.

Enjoy Keith’s wit and commentary.

Jean Cartier (1924-1996) Page Added To studioceramicscanada.com

Mature Jean Cartier

Mature Jean Cartier

I have added a page on renowned Quebec ceramist and muralist Jean Cartier. Ironically less known outside of Quebec today he was a major and inspiring influence in ceramics, especially during the 1970s to the 1990s.  His vision and techniques crossed stylistic and technical boundaries.

His contributions to studio ceramics and public art should be more widely recognized. I hope the page will help.