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.
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 .
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.
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.
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
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)
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’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.
Harlan House today. From MUD, Hands, fire Exhibition, University of Manitoba. Photo: Mary Ann Steggles
Porcelain master, Harlan House, now has a page on studioceramicscanada.com .
The page will surprise many with the variety of styles and subjects Harlan has produced for almost 50 years. His detailed carving, appliqué and sprigging are familiar; however, there are other deeper messages, opinions and forms in his work throughout his career. His subjects range from the detailed life and beauty in his garden to frustration with the global economy and our “big box” life.
He is open in his thoughts, words and experience. His own website and blog are further testaments to his generosity.
Sometimes when I am just browsing around I come across a nugget. This one in particular got me thinking. The mortality of our ceramic artists, especially over the past year or two, has struck me.
The nugget was an article in the Art Newspaper on the Institute for Artists’ Estates. Hold on, you might say! We are just potters! Maybe some are. But many aren’t just potters. Even in the ceramic world prices are climbing. Many of the heirs or estate managers of ceramic artists are family, just plain folks, with little knowledge of how to appreciate or handle the remaining inventory: its storage and handling, conservation, insuring, marketing, donations, sales and the like. Primary heirs might be steeped in the work and production and might not see them in the same way as collectors, galleries, museums or auction houses. Secondary heirs might not see beyond the cash value.
The Institute’s website has some interesting comments and articles to reflect upon. While the organization might on the surface sound like it is directed at the high end fine art market it has information that all art estate managers, existing or potential, should be thinking about. A book will be published in June 2016 titled The Artist Estate: A Handbook for Artists, Executors, and Heirs, by two of the Institute’s principals, Dr. Loretta Würtenberger and Karl von Trott.
Something to think about.
Jean Clarke Creating her Sculptures, nd. Nat Arch CGP C131971
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.
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