Apples and Art Studio Tour, 2017
In the past few years Margaret has participated in the annual Apples and Art Studio Tour held each Fall in the Cornwall, Ontario area. On the Tour local artists open their studios to the public to share with them a display of their creative and artistic work. This year the tour takes place on September 29 and 30, 2018.
At other times, if you wish to visit Margare't pottery studio, please contact her for an appointment. The studio is located in South Lancaster, Ontario.
Here are some of the pots that Margaret has created.
Margaret's Personal Artistic Statement
My goal is to create unique and beautiful pottery which people can enjoy using every day or can use 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 Italian majolica artists. I love working with color and creating "happy pots".
I find making original pots to be a never-ending challenge. I search various cultures and styles for inspiration, and this is seen in the large variety of styles shown in my work.
I am always working to improve my pottery and decoration skills and each small step forward is personally 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 nineteen years ago, and since that time I have continued to refine my work and skills, both in working with the clay, and in painting designs on the pots. I have taken courses as an independent student in art schools and community centers, and attended workshops by recognized artists.
I am a member of the Claycrafters Pottery Guild in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, and I belong to a group studying advanced claywork at the Town of Mount Royal Pottery Studio in Montreal.
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 the last few years I have participated in the Ontario Apples and Art Studio Tour, and in 2013 my work was exhibited at Stewart Hall's 50th Anniversary celebrations in Pointe-Claire.
My pottery studio is at my home in South Lancaster, Ontario.
Most of the pots are thrown on a pottery wheel using white stoneware clays. When the pieces have dried to the leather-hard stage the trimming and decorating work is done while the clay is still damp. The colorful designs are painted by hand using stains and underglaze colors.
Once a pot has dried completely it is fired for the first time in a bisque kiln. This low-temperature firing produces a hardened but porous material which can absorb glaze. Next, the bisqued pots are sprayed with a transparent glaze and then they are fired a second time. This second firing at a higher temperature melts the glaze, makes the painted designs permanent within the glaze, and vitrifies the clay body into a strong and non-porous stoneware.
Margaret has spent years testing and experimenting with colors and with painting one-stroke designs onto curved surfaces. A final color is not always predictable at the painting stage because the underglaze colors change when they are heated and they become more intense and darker after the glaze firing. Layering of color, as in oil painting and acrylics, is not always successful with pottery because the colors intermix during the glaze melting process.
Some colors that are possible on earthenware pottery will not survive the high-temperature firing that is required to create durable stoneware, but Margaret's choice is to work with the reduced color palette because stoneware is more suitable for everyday use, as compared to earthenware which can chip and craze easily. As a result, Margaret's pieces can take regular wear and are dishwasher safe.
Painting unique designs by hand on the pots is a very time-consuming process but that is what makes her work so distinctive.
Types of Pottery Produced
Functional pottery which is suitable for everyday use: - salad bowls, fruit bowls, large platters and mugs.
Display pieces: - vases, tiles, crocks, pitchers and urns.
In the summer outdoor raku and barrel firings are held on the property. These pots are somewhat porous and not food-safe. They are intended for display only.
Most of the pots are decorated with colorful hand-painted designs. They are durable and designed to take every-day normal use. They provide bright and interesting pieces for table service when entertaining, or can simply be displayed in your home and enjoyed. These beautiful and unique high-quality pieces also make excellent gifts for any special people in your life.
Here are some photos of the pottery studio. It consists of a gallery and showroom, a clay and pottery decoration workshop, and a kiln and glaze room.
Here is some of the more recent work:
Here are some of the pots which Margaret has produced from outdoor raku and barrel firings on her property.
Web page created by Margaret Brown, M.Sc., MBA, B.Sc.