I got hooked on clay over 50 years ago – beginning as a teenager with summer courses at Mohawk College – and have been pursuing my interest in clay ever since!
After bouncing around Quebec in the early 70s as an assistant, I moved back to Toronto and spent time in the music and restaurant businesses but mainly in the house-painting business, where I first developed a love of colour and colour theory.
In 1989 I met my long-time partner and potter, Maggie Murdoch, who had moved to Toronto the year before. Long story short, we got to potting together. We moved to Wellington, Prince Edward County, in 1999 and established Wellington Pottery and worked together for a further 23 years. I have to credit Maggie for inspiring me and teaching me so much about clay and encouraging my interest in glaze formula. During that time, we built Wellington Pottery into a recognizable name and did open houses, the PEC studio tour, and shows throughout Ontario, until we went our separate ways in 2020.
My main inspirations are Chinese and Japanese work and the philosophy of wabi sabi that embraces the way the clay wants to move, both in my hands and during the firing. I have experimented with other clays but always come back to porcelain.
My greatest interest and challenge are making glazes and creating new colours and textures in glaze and I am always working on one or two new ones! My new “colour “series celebrates simplicity, colour and function. Built using a variety of techniques, my pieces are designed to be used and enjoyed.
Over the years I have enjoyed teaching and hosting workshops with people of all ages – especially my protégé, Hannah Melnyk, who is my way of saving and passing on my knowledge and glaze recipes. She is now becoming an accomplished potter in her own right, “Hannah Melnyk Makes” is a very exciting studio to watch grow.
For me, the piece is perfect when the clay, the potter and the dragons, all work together in harmony, each with their own influence. I hope you enjoy using my pottery pieces as much as I enjoy making them!
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