Category Archives: ceramic sculpture

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.


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
ISBN: 9781989467275 (hardcover). $45.95 CAD, $40.95 USD. Please contact the Publisher for this version.

Barbara Tipton Exhibition at Jonathons

Barbara Tipton. 2017. Solo Voyage.

Barbara Tipton. 2017. Solo Voyage.

One of two must see ceramics exhibitions, Barbara Tipton, is coming to the Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery, this Thursday, August 10th.

Barbara Tipton at the Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery, August 10-September 2, 2017

Barbara Tipton at the Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery, August 10-September 2, 2017

Barbara further explores her favoured cup and saucer theme, this time with hints of voyage, perhaps new venues.

The exhibition runs from August 10 to September 2, 2017. Enjoy.


Amélie Proulx wins the 2016 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics.


Amelie Proulx. Metaphores Mortes. Photo source: Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery

Amélie Proulx . Metaphores Mortes. Photo source: Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery

The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery has announced that Amélie Proulx has won the 2016 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics. The award will be presented at the Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery on November 12, 2016. The ceremony will feature a brief artist talk.

  • Amélie Proulx from Lévis, QC, is a multidisciplinary artist working primarily with porcelain. She is interested in the possible shifts of meanings in language and in the perception of natural phenomena. She received a BFA from Concordia University in Montreal (2006) and an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University in Halifax (2010).
  • Her artwork has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Canada, the United States, Australia and France. In 2013, she received the RBC Emerging Artist People’s Choice Award at the Gardiner Museum in Toronto. She has participated in several residencies, notably at the European Ceramic Work Centre (The Netherlands, 2014) and the Guldargergaard International Ceramic Research Centre (Denmark, 2015). She teaches ceramics and visual arts at La Maison des métiers d’art de Québec and at Cégep de Sainte-Foy. She is represented by Galerie 3 in Quebec City.
  • Proulx has been chosen for the Arts/Industry Program at the Kohler Company in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. There she will research and produce a new body of work that will convey ideas of technological translations of ceramics.
  • Proulx will use the Shantz Award to prepare for this residency; she will generate 3D printed moulds at the artist-run centre La Chambre Blanche in Quebec City and CNC milled plaster moulds with Epic Welding in Medicine Hat, Alberta.

The award was juried by Laura Kukkee, Rory MacDonald and Aaron Nelson.

Proulx will receive $10,000. This prestigious national awards allows early career professionals to undertake a period of independent research, or other activities that will advance their artistic and professional practice at a key moment in their careers.

The Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics is supported by the Keith and Winifred Shantz Fund for the Arts, held at The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation.

  • About Winifred Shantz: The late Winifred Shantz was a driving force for the arts in Waterloo Region for more than 40 years. A successful ceramist, entrepreneur and visionary philanthropist, she was committed to finding ways to enable artists to reach their full potential.
  • About The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation: The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) improves the quality of life in Kitchener-Waterloo and the surrounding area, now and for generations to come, by building community endowment, addressing needs through grant making, and providing leadership on key community issues.
  • The Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery’s mission is to showcase the most innovative, influential contemporary Canadian ceramic, glass, and enamel artworks and to make them accessible to all through acclaimed exhibitions that address issues and themes relevant to our times, through an impressive selection of artworks in our Gallery Shop, and through intriguing public programs that engage, educate, and inspire.

For information about the Awards contact: William D. Poole, Executive Director, Canadian Clay & Glass Gallery; • 519.746.1882 x231

Alain-MarieTremblay Page Added To Studio Ceramics Canada

tremblay portrait young website v af4a0fb2173213fc-Alain1I have added a page on Val David, Quebec, ceramic sculptor, muralist and potter, Alain-Marie Tremblay.

His work spans over fifty years and includes the functional through to sculpture, tiles, architectural facades, murals and portals. His media include stoneware, porcelain and bétonique, the clay/concrete medium he developed.

His work has also been extensively recognized, exhibited and collected internationally yet he stays true to Val David to create his works.

Enjoy the life and work of Alain-Marie Tremblay.

Alexandra McCurdy (RCA) at the David Kaye Gallery, Toronto

An invitation for you to Alexandra McCurdy's exhibition at the David Kaye Gallery

An invitation for you to Alexandra McCurdy’s exhibition at the David Kaye Gallery

For those of you who are fans of Alexandra McCurdy’s art be sure to catch her exhibition, Crossing Material Boundaries, at the David Kaye Gallery,  from October 1 to 25, 2015. As a special treat Alexandra herself will be there on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 2 to 4 pm.