Apples and Art Studio Tour, 2016
On September 24 and 25, 2016 I participated in the Apples and Art Studio Tour where local artists open up their studios to the public.
My pottery studio in South Lancaster, Ontario welcomed lots of visitors during the Tour and lots them left happily carrying away their chosen pots.
Breaking news! These pots are my latest work and just out of the kiln.
And here is my display at the recent Food Fair at Upper Canada Village.
My goal is to create unique and beautiful pottery which people can enjoy using every day or can acquire to decorate their living spaces.
I adore elegant pottery with graceful forms and free-flowing painted designs, and I admire the pottery decoration skills of the majolica artists. I love working with color, and strive always to make "happy pots".
I find making original pots to be a never-ending challenge. I search various cultures for inspiration, and this can be seen in the large variety of styles shown in my work.
I am always working to improve my pottery and decoration skills and I find each small step forward to be very satisfying.
My earliest experience in creating pottery was in South Australia where I was born and raised. As a young person, I took an evening course in pottery at the Mount Gambier Adult Education Center and from this experience I learned that I really enjoyed working with clay. I resolved that one day I would master the art of pottery.
My serious pottery studies began seventeen years ago, and since that time I have continued to refine my skills, both in creating the forms and in painting the designs. I have taken courses as an independent student in art schools and community centers, and attended workshops given by recognized artists.
I am a member of the Claycrafters Pottery Guild in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, and my present studies include a course in advanced claywork at the Town of Mount Royal Pottery Studio.
My technical expertise has been broadened by exploring many aspects of pottery - clays, glazes, colorants, raku, hand-building, wheel throwing, pottery decoration, and gas, wood, and electric kiln firings.
In 2006, 2014, 2015 and 2016 I participated in the Apples and Art Studio Tour in the Cornwall, Ontario area, and in 2013 my work was exhibited at Stewart Hall's 50th Anniversary celebrations in Pointe-Claire.
My pottery studio is next to my home in South Lancaster, Ontario.
Techniques of creation
Most of my pots are thrown on a pottery wheel using white stoneware clays. When the pieces have dried to the leather-hard stage, the trimming and finishing work is done. While the pots are still damp, the designs are painted by hand using stains and underglaze colors.
Once the clay has dried completely the pots are fired for the first time in a bisque kiln. This low-temperature firing produces a hardened but porous material which can absorb glaze. The bisqued pots are sprayed with a transparent glaze and then they are fired a second time. This higher temperature firing melts the glaze, makes the painted designs permanent within the glaze, and vitrifies the clay body into a strong and non-porous material.
Painting one-stroke designs onto curved surfaces takes care and practise. In addition, much testing and experimentation has enabled me to produce colorful designs which survive the high-temperature firing that is required of stoneware. This makes them more durable than earthenware pieces which can chip easily. These pieces can take regular wear and are dishwasher safe.
Types of Pottery
I create functional pottery suitable for everyday use: - salad bowls, fruit bowls, large platters and mugs.
I also create display pieces: - vases, tiles, crocks, pitchers and urns.
Most of my work is decorated with colorful hand-painted designs.
In the summer I fire raku pots outdoors on my property.
My work includes beautiful and unique high-quality pieces which make excellent gifts. They can be used every day for regular use, for table service when entertaining, or simply displayed in your home and enjoyed. Decorating the pots is a very time-consuming process and that is what makes my work so distinctive compared to most other local potters.
Here are some photos of my studio: the gallery and showroom, a clay and pottery decoration workshop, and a kiln and glaze room.
Web page created by Margaret Brown, M.Sc., MBA, B.Sc.