Category Archives: Contemporary

2000-present

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.

 

Barbara Tipton Page Added to Studio Ceramics Canada

 

 

I have added a page on Barbara Tipton. For over three decades Barbara has explored the theme of cups, saucers and teapots in a unique and instantly recognizable style. What Barbara can do to a subject that is so often taken for granted will take your breath away!

Also included, providing a strong contrast, is a sampling of Barbara’s functional pottery.

Enjoy the page and let Barbara know you how much you admire her work.

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.

Jan and Helga Grove Page Added to Studio Ceramics Canada

Jan and Helga Grove in their garden at Sooke Rd studio, c. 1970, photo by Karl Spreitz

Jan and Helga Grove in their garden at Sooke Rd studio, c. 1970, photo by Karl Spreitz

I have added a page on Jan and Helga Grove. Their training in Germany was intense and traditional but their work is so modern. Working out of the Victoria BC area  Jan and Helga brought a new view to traditions outside of the dominant Leach-Hamada tradition.

 

Their retrospective exhibition curated by Allan Collier at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria continues until until May 28, 2017. Catch it if you are in the region. Or obtain the 128 page hard cover catalogue if you want a lasting memory.

Carol Smeraldo Page Added To Studio Ceramics Canada

Carol Smeraldo today

Carol Smeraldo today

I have added a page on the Nova Scotia Artist, Carol Smeraldo.

Carol is prolific potter and sculptor. Her works in raku and low -fire porcelain frequently incorporate other media. Though varied in style she displays an ongoing love for the sea: an underpinning theme for her explorations in media, design, and more recently,  the cycle of creativity.

Carol is also greatly recognized for her teaching and organizing work in the province: the Halifax Studio School of Pottery, her links with NSCADU, and in the development of the Nova Scotia Designer Crafts Council to name some highlights.

Enjoy the story of Carol Smeraldo’s career and a sampling of her creations,and please share your thoughts.

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; director@theclayandglass.ca • 519.746.1882 x231