"I am seeking to create visual representations that convey the juxtapositions found in our natural world; ideas of growth and decay, strength and fragility. The surfaces of moss, lichens and algae exemplify these concepts in particular, as they are surfaces that have become blemished and worn over time exposing sediment, the past and growth."
Blakey’s geologically inspired formations strive to embody a sense of time, so that the pieces themselves, crumbling and in decay, may be perceived to take part in this symbiotic cycle found in nature. Blakey sees her current ceramic work as particularized studies, dug up from the earth or sea. The objects feel like unearthed relics or remains; the surviving traces that speak of our past.
"My work is a constant discussion on how things fit together and how they do not. In particular, I am interested in points of transition: the space where orange becomes red, the place where glaze meets bare clay, the end of a handle and the edge of the pot. In my process, I continually seek out and create opportunities for these moments to occur: leaving a seam visible in a hand-built cup, cutting a soft line in the rim of a bowl, or negotiating the space between white slip and bare clay. As a maker, I am interested in how these moments record my decisions and become physical signposts left for a future user. These traces of intent and action say: I was here, please bear witness."
"After 30 years of working in clay, utility continues to serve as the foundation for my ideas. The pots I make, no matter how simple or complex, are meant to be experienced on a physical and contemplative level. The way an object carries, lifts, cradles, pours and contains are properties which I strive to make engaging for the user, offering more than just convenience. Pottery has the potential to affect peoples lives in a very real way. The challenge is to go beyond the mundane and purely technical solutions which only compete with a vast industrial market. The pottery I find most compelling in terms of its vitality and its reflection of the maker are those who reach back into the traditions of vessel making not simply in reproduction but rather how these historical models are reinterpreted and revitalized to have more relevance to contemporary society."
"I am a maker of utilitarian pottery which is meant to be used and enjoyed every day. I am constantly exploring new techniques which allow me to discover different ways to approach my work. Lately I find myself fascinated by forms with gentle curves which suggest a sense of motion."
Jen Drysdale lives in Ottawa, Ontario spending her time making pots in her home studio, teaching classes, and working as a technician at a local Community centre pottery studio.
"My work explores themes of the garden, ecology, landscape, and our evolving relationship with the natural world from a contemporary perspective. The illustrative surfaces reference historical ceramics and decorative arts traditions, botanical Illustration, and incorporate a sense of fantasy and discovery.
My recent work reflects my long standing interest in gardening and urban food production and references the complex nutrient recycling system in the soil involving bacteria, fungus, insects, plants, etc. (the soil-food web). These complex systems are the foundation upon which plant life - and by extension all life - depends.
The circular wall plate functions as a lens to frame the beauty of these life forms that go unnoticed underfoot. The strange shapes and textures of micro flora, the architecture of a beetle’s exoskeleton and the growing habits of fungi and plants, are the inspiration for these plates."
"I make pots to share my love of material and the importance of beauty in the home and marks the beginning of a relationship that unfolds over years.
I am enamored by clay’s malleability, plasticity, and tactility. It’s the quick squishy responsive nature of the material itself that draws me in. As a kid I would play with bricks and mortar, building small walls or stacks when I would visit construction sites with my father. The physical weight of the brick carries sentiments of strength, home, and safety. These ideas are imbedded in my pottery. I chase after a personal expression of beauty, a casual confidence, pots that are full of quick and energetic throwing. Creating qualities of spontaneity, roughness, and heft that highlight the raw beauty of ceramics.
I trim back into the clay to expose the rough groggy inner quality similar to the gritty texture of early wet struck bricks. I use a reductive process to highlight subtle transitions in form. Creating edges for the slip and glaze to break, pool, and cascade over, accentuating the swelling forms of jars and pitchers. I want my pots to disappear into private and personal activities. To let particular moments take centre stage.
For me, pottery only becomes active when we commit them into service. The pots I make are emblematic of more than a container of food. They’re a visual representation of time, memory, and history. Which is actively added to and transported with the experiences of use.
Pottery, when used in the domestic setting eventually break down, it stains, glazes dull, and chipped edges form. These are the battle scars of utilitarian pottery, of a well-loved piece of pottery. These marks are to be admired and help in the brief instances of small pleasure on a daily basis. Creating moments of experiential sympathy between the participant maker and the pot. These moments can't be codified or appropriated but have the immediate enjoyment of everydayness."
“Orkney has been my passion and source of inspiration for vessel forms and sculpture for the last 5 years. This body of work examines the relationships between the natural land and ancient manmade structures, left to be transformed through time by the force of the elements and generations of human contact. What has become increasingly intriguing for me is the historical narrative encapsulated within and on these ancient monuments.”
“It is strong but brittle. It cracks, creases, bends. It remembers.
It is willful. It is unpredictable. Clay is the human medium.” Jeannie Pappas’ work expresses the experience of seeking meaning and purpose in the face of confusion and alienation. Her narrative figures illuminate what is hidden within the human struggle for freedom, identity and belonging. Jeannie has exhibited across Canada and the US and her works can be found in private collections internationally.
"My work is an expression of my love for, and fascination with, the Natural World: its Forests, the birds and the beasts. As long as I can remember, I've always loved walking in the woods, reflecting on the lives of the Trees and the other inhabitants, with wonder and some astonishment, as what Keats referred to 'taking part in the existence of things'. The sculptural pieces I make are a reflection of this observation, while walking in the woods, and referencing our human Mythology, folktales and fairy tales of times past. The animals and birds are an expression of the Elemental Being, an Idea(l) of the creature, its history in our Narratives, and less about realism or individuality of a single being. The Elemental Deer, with its antlers sprouting leaves and tendrils, represents all deer in story, and in the natural world. The surfaces of the pieces are craggy, rough, with gestural immediate mark making, that refers to movement of the air and wind, and of the animal at rest. The surfaces are ornamentals, without realism. The way in which I describe these beings in clay, the surfaces, with stains, metallic oxides, crackly slips and matte glazes, recall children's book illustrations of the nineteenth century in Britain and Europe, as well as antique illustrations and representations of Fairy Tales and Mythology, in Aesop's Fables or The Grimm's tales, in the Golden Bough or Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable."
"The Real magic of discovery lies not in the seeking new Landscapes,
but in the having new eyes." Marcel Proust
"I am a Toronto area ceramic artist. I began my study of clay as a metal student at Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, BC. This study and constant reference to metal continues in my soft slab, wood fired ceramics. I am interested in the development of relationship created by placement and repetition, and the use of functional ceramics to create sculptural works. My current body of work brings focus to form, function, and the idea that beauty can exist in everyday, utilitarian objects."
“Can adding interesting objects to the plethora of creations be of use? If successful art means that a beholder is inspired or changed, even one small fraction by associating with ones art, even for the length of time it takes to drink a cup of tea, then the journey is worth it. Hence the importance of holding and using hand made cups!"
Chandler studied painting at The Ontario College of Art and Hornsey College of Art in London England before switching to major in ceramic art at Sheridan College in the mid 1970′s. Her work is known for strong, lyrical, graphic and textural surface and often whimsical subject matter. She varies her studio practice between making vessels and figurative sculpture depending on what influences are at play. Play is the operative word as this is the driving dynamic of her life: the great cosmic and human comedy…so full of adventure, irony and possiblilty.
"I seek a dynamic and collaborative relationship with clay, the core material of my practice. Working abstractly and directly with the material in different stages of plasticity, my work is process oriented and expressive. I explore the tactile and emotional qualities of the material and the act of making. I stretch, rip, roll and push the material to collapse and near ruin in search of new aesthetic qualities. The hand of the artist is wholly evident, even aggressively obvious, as my fingers are my primary tools of intervention. A rather intuitive approach, I embrace chance and work with an immediacy. Time, movement, the inherent simplicity of the material and existence are marked. I feel while I am making what I cannot say and I hope to make visible the impossible to describe."