Category Archives: British Columbia

Debra Sloan, One Busy Lady


Sloan mek posterOver the past several months Debra Sloan has been non-stop. Honouree for Craft and Design for this year’s Mayor’s Art Award, she also had work at SOFA in Chicago in the MEK Gallery.

She was accepted into the Ceramics, Residencies, Exhibitions, Teaching and the Arts (C.R.E.T.A) – Rome residency, supported by the Hilda Gerson Award.

sloan gone roamingShe will be guest artist with the All Fired Up group in Victoria this spring, including a wood firing at Gordon Hutchen’s place on Denman Island. Currently she is also in the Best B4 Collective Exhibition, – Telling Stories.

Whew, I’m getting tired just writing this. Congratulations, Debra!

Alwyn O’Brien Wins the 2015 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics

Raunch 2014. Alwyn O’Brien. 2015 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics Winner

Raunch 2014. Alwyn O’Brien. 2015 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics Winner

The Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, ON, will celebrate Alwyn O’Brien and her work, and present to her the 2015 Winifred Shantz Award on Saturday, November 14.

“O’Brien, from Saltspring Island, BC. creates  ceramic sculptures to push the medium as a vehicle to explore the metaphorical and literal question “What is the Vessel?” With an extensive knowledge of the history of decorative arts and a passion for the baroque, O’Brien’s objects challenge the definition of the vessel through the use of lacey hand-rolled coils in a deliberate yet chaotic way to construct volume and shape. Pinching, rolling and fingerprints are evidence of the hand and connect the material to the body.”

O’Brien  received her MFA in 2010 from the University of Washington in Seattle and her BFA from Emily Carr Institute. Her work is featured in the collections of the Seattle Art Museum, the Surrey Art Gallery, and the Mackenzie Art Gallery. She divides her time between Saltspring Island, B.C. and Vancouver, where she is currently an instructor at both Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Langara College.

Alwyn will receive $10,000. This prestigious national awards allow early career practising ceramic and glass artists 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.

Walter Dexter RCA Page Added to Studio Ceramics Canada

Young Walter Dexter

Young Walter Dexter

I have added a page on Walter Dexter RCA to the website .

Dexter was an artist who moved from the the influences of Luke Lindoe and Bernard Leach, through the raku inspiration of Americans Hal Riegge and Paul Soldner, to his own signature “Torso” works and their recognizable style. His journey took him from Alberta, to Europe and eventually to British Columbia.

Enjoy his journey.

Stan and Jean Clarke, a New Page on Studio Ceramics Canada

Jean Clarke Creating her Sculptures, nd. Nat Arch CGP C131971

Jean Clarke Creating her Sculptures, nd. Nat Arch CGP C131971

Stan Clarke in his studio, nd. Nat Arch CGP C131970

Stan Clarke in his studio, nd. Nat Arch CGP C131970










I have added a new a new “short” page on Stan and Jean Clarke. Their careers span the formative years of ceramics in BC in the 1950s to 1970s. They were not only creators but were also important connectors between organizations and institutions in BC and across Canada.

If you know of collectors who have Stan’s or Jean’s works in the collection please let me know by leaving a comment. You can never have too many pictures of this hard-to-get period.


Debra Sloan And Her Ceramics. A New Page Published On Studio Ceramics Canada

Debra Sloan with her work

Debra Sloan with her work “Shall I Be Mother?”

A page on that powerhouse of energy, and award winning artist, Debra Sloan, has been added to the website.

Mobile Girl – with Dead Battery, 2015. L15 x H13 x D10 cm. Porcelain and telephone wire, modeled. Photo E.A.Clarke

Mobile Girl – with Dead Battery, 2015. L15 x H13 x D10 cm. Porcelain and telephone wire, modeled. Photo E.A.Clarke

Debra’s babies, dogs and horses are familiar to many. Her press moulded and slip cast figures sometimes entertain but mostly challenge the viewer’s assumptions and attitudes through their poses, gestures, surfaces and expressions.

In addition to her art she has exhibited and traveled internationally and has also researched and documented the history of the development of studio ceramics in British Columbia.

Enjoy this page and let Debra know how much you appreciate her art. You can also see more about her on her own website .

Breaking news: Last week Debra was awarded  the biannual Hilde Gerson Award by the Craft Council of BC. Congratulations, Debra!

Walter Dexter 1931 – 2015 Passes

Walter Dexter 1931-2015

Walter Dexter 1931-2015

Another great one in the history of Canadian studio ceramics has passed. Award winning Walter Dexter started in Alberta with Luke Lindoe but spent most of his years in British Columbia, especially Vancouver Island. Raku, Stoneware, and his Torso Vases are part of his teaching and artistic legacy. He will be missed.

Robin Hopper, A New E-book, A Potter’s Garden – An Artist’s Approach To Creative Garden-Making

Robin Hopper, A Potter's Garden, Cover

Robin Hopper, A Potter’s Garden, Cover

Robin Hopper has published a new e-book on a long time and very personal passion, gardening,  particularly his “Anglojapanadian” garden in Metchosin, BC. It is a guided stroll through a 40+ year labour of love and love of life.

Now that he has moved on from making pots he continues his two other loves, writing and gardening and perhaps a third, philosophy. For those who think of Robin as just a potter the book is an eye-opener. It gives a deeper insight into key sources of his art and what inspired him in his career: nature and cultures, especially Japanese aesthetics. It shows a deeper side of Robin that few know about but is fundamental to his personality and aesthetic. His life has come full circle and now the garden encapsulates all his learnings and yearnings.

The book not only explains the why and how of developing this garden but also acts as a guide-book for visitors to enjoy its features, flora and fauna. It is divided into 5 sections that Robin describes:

“This book starts with a brief background about my life and the role that my unusual childhood had in both my passion for ceramics and gardening. The second section will introduce you to my one-of-a-kind “Anglojapanadian” garden complete with a virtual walkthrough of it with pictures of each area. The third section will look at garden design principles through an analogy to the human body. The fourth section will look at the ways that any knowledge of, experience in, or appreciation of one of more areas within the art field can be utilized in designing a garden. The final section will discuss the importance of the garden as inspiration and look at the role that the garden has played in my work as a potter.”

The garden has been part of his life and art plan in Metchosin from the very beginning, not some later life fill-in or afterthought. He describes its start-up with his wry sense of humour:

“Masochistic as it may have seemed at the time, the project entailed turning this mass of misery into a presentable family home, showroom, gallery, two studios and garden to entice people to visit.”

The book is not just about plants in gardens, but is also about thoughts and ideas. It has, therefore, particular delights for gardening enthusiasts. For the pottery lover it also has its pottery elements: section four looks at his bird forms, parabolic bottles and substrate paintings.  It also includes mention of  his 2D art and theatre design experience, quite typical of Robin and his writings. For Robin everything is connected. Here, for example, gardening and ceramics are both a combination of art and science.

For Robin as he reviews his life and career and the garden as focus:

“The end result has been well worth both the work and the wait! Paradise found.”

Robin Hopper and Judi Dyelle in their Metchosin garden

Robin Hopper and Judi Dyelle in their Metchosin garden

The 122 pages are well illustrated with photographs by his friends, and especially his wife and fellow potter,  Judi  Dyelle.

The e-book can be downloaded from the site for $9.99 US. It works best as an Adobe PDF document.

as Robin says,

“The going price would be about the same as three cups of good Coffee,”

The Name is Tang, Brendan Tang

Brendan Tang

Brendan Tang

The page on Brendan Tang and his art is the first page for the 2015 year for Studio Ceramics Canada.

Brendan, an award winner and currently an instructor at Emily Carr University of Art + Design has developed styles and themes that incorporate his interests ranging from traditional Chinese Ming ware to European Rococo Orientalism and decoration, to Japanese Manga and Anime, to Techno-Pop. His work can be provocative or subtle but is always thought provoking.

Look for future pages on artists such as Judy Blake, Stan and Jean Clarke, and John Chalke.

Brendan Tang with Les Manning, Susan Collett, Ann Mortimer and Ann Roberts at the IAC General Assembly Dublin 2014

Brendan Tang with Les Manning, Susan Collett, Ann, Mortimer and Ann Roberts at the IAC General Assembly Dublin 2014

Meanwhile enjoy Brendan Tang’s page.


Debra Sloan Horsing Around. An Exhibition Oct 2-Nov 2

Debra Sloan Horsing Around Exhibition Invitation

Debra Sloan Horsing Around Exhibition Invitation

That tireless powerhouse of BC ceramics, Debra Sloan, ceramist, author, historian and world traveller has an exhibition on one of her favourite themes, a subject that has inspired her since childhood, horses, but with Debra’s own touch. The exhibition continues to November 2 at the Gallery of BC Ceramics, Granville Island, Vancouver.


Robin Hopper has a New Facebook Page

Robin Hopper's New Facebook Page

Robin Hopper’s New Facebook Page

Robin Hopper continues to  re-invent himself.  He now has a Facebook business page. He is using it not only as an online retrospective view of his work but also as educational material. He has been working on it for about 7 weeks and getting tremendous response.

Click on the link below to see Robin’s newest venture: