Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wood Fired Pots in Wildwood

Christian Barr and Enzien Kufeld are woodfirers living near Wildwood, Alberta. I first met them at Fred Olsen's kiln building workshop in 1998. Since then, they have lived their passion, building kilns and firing often. They have travelled and worked with some of the best, including Jack Troy.

They are having a sale Sept. 26 - Oct. 4th at their beautiful place located approximately 115 km west of Edmonton on hwy 16 (9 km west of Wildwood), turn south on RR102, 250 metres. GST will be covered by them.

I love their work and a road trip at this lovely time of year seems in order. I just broke a mug yesterday...time to get another. Winter is coming and these would be great vessels to sit, drink something warm and contemplate with.

And for scotch drinkers...

I have a feeling one of these offering bowls will find its way home with me.

All this and much more at Urban Forest Design/Wildwood Pottery.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Moose Jaw, In the Vault

Earlier this month Sask Terra held a social in Moose Jaw which included a trip to the vault of the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery

Recently there had been large donations from Richard Stafford's collection as well and David Thauberger and his wife (sorry, I forget her first name). David mentioned that their recent acquisition was a Hansen Ross pot they bought at a garage sale the day of the opening of A Way with Clay: Folmer Hansen and David Ross.

Above is an image of Cara Gay Driscoll with two of her pots that were recently donated to the permanent collection. Cara is well know for her coiled pots; she took a workshop from Richard Zane Smith years ago and has been coiling away since.

Here's a pic of Heather Smith, curator of the art gallery with a Jack Sures' pot from the permanent collection.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


The first time I made goblets they turned out rather poorly -- and the glaze even crawled. Thought I'd give up until I adopted a fun approach goblet making. Pictured above are two "rattle goblets". Small balls of clay rolled in cornstarch are inserted into the stems before joining the bowl; a bit of cornstarch is funneled into the stem to prevent them from sticking together. Now hundreds of goblets later (and a few blown up in the bisque) I'm refining the design, using different glazes and enjoying myself. Cheers!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Getting Real

If I had a copy of The Velveteen Rabbit I'd reread it now.

Sharing this article with you -- it's a good one.

"The Law of Attraction In Action with Eva" - 1 new article

By Eva Gregory, CPCC

Talk seems to be plentiful about "getting real" and "keeping it real" these says. But what exactly does that mean? One of the definitions of the word real is "being or occurring in fact or actuality; not imaginary or ideal." So basically, the talk is about dealing with what actually exists and not putting a happy spin on things. While it is definitely a good idea to know what is going on around you, being real is not the complete solution. Striving for your ideal, your passion, and your purpose -- is. Comprehension of the present situation helps lay the foundation for the ideas that follow, but your present is just that. Dreams are imaginary until you've put action and purpose to them to make them become realities. A goal is nothing more than that until it has been achieved.

How many instances can you recall of people who made incredible contributions to society based upon their acknowledgement of their reality, and their fierce dedication to the pursuit of their passion and desire to change said reality? They weren't afraid to stray from conventions and follow their own course. Think of something on a smaller scale, like Sadie Hawkins Day. Granted this day was created in the comic strips, but it was such a novel idea that it caught on in real life more than half a century ago. It was a huge thing for a female to ask a male out on a date. The creation of such a day alleviated the stigma and made it perfectly fine for a girl to ask a boy out. Think of the possible ripple-effects of such an esteem-building event. Women feeling free enough to take more of an active role. Think of how many lives have been shaped by something that was not real, but an idea conjured up by a writer. On a larger scale, look at the United States. This country was founded by people willing to break free of the norm, willing to embrace their passion and create a new reality. Our forefathers were definitely not lacking in purpose.

Your dreams may not have as widespread an impact, but they are just as important. Aren't you worth having a life full of purpose and rich with passion? No one should be stuck in reality, unable to allow yourself to each beyond your present towards a future full of passion and purpose. Take a lesson from someone you admire. Very few people reach their desired goal without first dreaming of how to get there. Even if your dream seems farfetched, never be afraid to step outside of the box. Real need not be a path on the straight and narrow, but a journey to destinations only you can chart.

Take some time in the coming month to review where you've traveled and determine if or how it differs from where you want to be. Remember it all starts with you. What are your dreams and goals? Explore them, learn them, list them, and make them real too. You can achieve reality, but only if you're real and honest enough with yourself to determine what it is you really feel passionate about. Just have fun with it and remember to keep it purposeful.

You're welcome to use this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered (including the "About The Author" info below:)

About the Author:
Eva Gregory, CPCC, is a master coach, speaker and author of several programs and books including The Feel Good Guide to Prosperity. She has instructed tens of thousands in person, on the radio and in teleconferences, seminars and workshops on how to deliberately create a life by design using the Law of Attraction. As co-host of The Jeanna and Eva Show and The Law of Attraction Show on Exceptional Wisdom Radio, she has interviewed some of the most powerfully successful motivational experts today. Her new book, Life Lessons for Mastering the Law of Attraction, co-authored with Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hanson and Jeanna Gabellini, can be found in bookstores everywhere.

Copyright @2009 Eva Gregory. All rights reserved.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Wood Fired Pots

Here are some pots I made using the "squishing method" I learned from the late David Miller. The pots, which are in the Art Gallery of Prince Albert's permanent collection, were tumble stacked and fired in the kiln that Randy Woolsey built in Ruddell.

The aura around the shells is from St. Rose Red clay (yum!). Thanks to Christian Barr of Wildwood, Alberta for bringing that clay and suggestions how to use it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Wood Fired Kiln Opening

Pots, big and small, along with the potters.

My neighbour, Robert (who participated in the firing), and I are off to Meacham tomorrow for the kiln opening of the anagama kiln "L'agamine"1 pm, Charley Farrero's studio, 2nd avenue, Meacham. You don't have to be a potter to enjoy this. Join us if you'd like and check back later for pics of the event.

Here's a pic of Sharon Esler and John Boyd stoking the kiln.

Tile Commission

Here's part of a tile commission I've been working on. The tiles sure take up a lot of space in the kiln. The whole process has been a enjoyable learning experience...and I've even made notes for future projects.

This section is on the north wall and is about 28 inches across and 15 inches high; the tiles on the west wall are just less than 100 inches wide and 15 inches high. It is for a back splash for a paper maker's sink.
I'm looking forward to the finished project.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Folded Pots -- soft slab construction

I first stared making "folded pots" after seeing a Lana Wilson video. Check out her work if you aren't familiar with it. She and her work are delightful.

Years later I thought I might be "copying" but on viewing the video again I was pleased to realize that Lana influenced me and that I had made this technique my own, with variations on her method, etc.

The lichen glaze is one from Lana and is mostly lithium with a bit of chrome. It is brownish /purple where thick and can be lime green where thick -- see a touch of green on the handle on the right. Her glaze book is available for purchase...go to above link.


This workshop is offered at your facility or my studio.

- half day or full day workshop === full day is better
- no previous clay experience required

“Folded pots” are fun and exciting to make. You will create a unique vessel using a simple technique. Soft slab construction will be used to handbuild the pot. Mugs, pitchers and baskets are some of the vessels you can make using this method. Texture, along with additions such as handles and feet will be explored. Surface treatments will be discussed. You will learn some new tricks and tips. A handout with glaze and engobe recipes, etc. will be provided. Interested? Contact me at

The purple and green pot has green terra sigillata made from ball clay and green stain. It was refired with
a purple patina. Patina is equal parts frit 3134 and
epk with added stains. The texture was imprinted from a 25 cent garage sale tablecloth.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Kilburn Hall - Workshops with Youth

One of the highlights of my life was giving two workshops at Kilburn Hall, a youth detention centre -- the first with young women, the second with young men . At the beginning of the day, one of the females remarked that she's "no good at this" ... and the end of the day she was very proud of her creation. I hope a seed was planted and she knows that she is capable of many things.

Here's a report written by Amanda Bosiak for the Saskatchewan Craft Council Newsletter:

"Masks allow a person to present a different face to the world. They can simultaneously hide a person’s appearance while revealing their inner nature.

When potters Teresa Gagne and Carole Epp developed a ceramics workshop at the Kilburn Hall Youth Centre, they settled on making masks as the ideal expression of creativity for the youths who have run afoul of the law.

The girls who worked with Gagne and Epp to mold clay into expressions of themselves chose to create masks expressing laughter (a clown), tradition (the trickster), and a harmony with nature (animals).

For many of the youth who come to Kilburn Hall, the programming provided there is often their first exposure to the crafts associated with their culture. The arts and culture programming provided there attempts to help these youth discover more positive ways with which to direct their youthful energies. In presenting workshops at Kilburn Hall, Epp feels she is offering the youth the opportunity to see options other than criminal behavior for their future and that craft can be a rewarding and potentially lucrative part of their lives. The goal says Epp, is “they see they can channel those positive things and build a life that's full of that creative spirit."

Because many of the youth at Kilburn are of First Nations origins, much of the programming is centered on First Nations culture. However, Kilburn Hall's Cultural Coordinator Adonica Anwieler feels it is important to educate the youth on their connection to all cultures and to have support from outside the facility. The clay mask workshops relate well with the existing cultural programming. "Traditional aboriginal people used material from the earth… [so we tied the art of clay] into the traditional teaching of giving back when we take from the earth,” explained Anwieler. “We made tobacco offerings and smudged to cleanse any negative energy before we began."

"It's been amazing," Anwieler says, "besides what it does for the facility it's great for the youth. The goal is to get them to participate and learn and have a creative outlet because they have so much time on their hands and it's important they have positive ways to use it."

Kilburn Hall Youth Centre is a secure custody youth facility in the city of Saskatoon, which holds males and females age 12-17 on remand or sentence. Three years ago, the Saskatchewan Craft Council received funding from the Cameco Caring Community Grant to implement a pilot project in soapstone carving at the facility, where members of the SCC could come in and contribute to Kilburn Hall's existing Cultural Programming, which focuses on Art, Culture and Healing. Funding from Cameco for the program has since continued making last year's weaving workshops and this year's clay mask workshops possible."

Friday, April 17, 2009

Clay Playdays

Creating with Clay

Have you ever wanted to reconnect with your inner mudpie-making child or perhaps play with clay for the first time? I approach clay in a fun & creative way and love to share my passion for pottery with others. Individualized instruction, designed to meet your schedule and desires, is offered to groups of up to four people at a time in my well-equipped pottery studio.

On Family Day, a family came and had a great time making LOTS of pots. Here's the dad, a luthier, with his clay guitar.
The daughter went on a pendant making frenzy; the black object ... saddlebags her dad made (for his mini motorcycle).

Whether you want to spend only a few hours exploring make a mask, or two days a week making a variety of pots using many methods, a program can be designed to suit you. Handbuilt projects could include decorative masks, shields or utilitarian objects such as smudge pots, rattles, mugs, plates and bowls. A basic familiarity with the techniques used in handbuilding – pinch, coil and slab –is easily acquired. Your creativity, coupled with these skills, will allow you to discover the joys of creating with clay and explore the endless possibilities that clay offers. Handbuilding provides a strong foundation for wheel throwing.

Instruction is also available on the potter’s wheel. Beginners will be taught how to centre the clay and make cylinders such as drinking vessels vases as well as bowls. Decoration can include texture, carving, incising, coloured slips and underglazes and so on. All glazes used are non-toxic and food safe. Those with experience will have the opportunity to refine their skills and learn a variety of intermediate and advanced techniques such as altering, throwing with additions, etc.

Ruddell is situated on rolling prairie/agricultural land about a one-hour drive from Saskatoon and twenty-five minutes from North Battleford. It is peaceful place. The studio is equipped potters wheels, slab roller and lots of tools and has a great view of the North Saskatchewan River valley.

Fees are reasonable, exchanges possible. Accommodations are available. For more information call Teresa at 306-389-2040 or email

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Art Auctions

Coming up May 2nd is an Art Auction and dance in support of the Jack Millikin Centre. Set in the boreal forest, the Centre will feature a dance hall with a horse hair dance floor, a centre for forest research and learning and a large work area for artists to develop a year-round artisan learning centre.

The auction and dance will be a lot of fun. Kudos to all the volunteers who make these events happen. I'll have two pieces up for auction, including Sister Water Snake (above), which celebrates all the incredible women born in the year of the snake in 53/54; we are now 55/56.

Art Auctions can be a win-win situation. Artists are frequently asked to donate their work. In my experience, it is wise to choose which ones to participate in...ones that benefit a cause you support, give you the opportunity to benefit financially and promote you and your art practice. Given the choice of setting a reserve bid and a choice of how much you want to donate of the winning bid is respectful of the artist and gives us an opportunity to participate in a number of auctions.

CARFAC has a number of "best practices". Here's the link for the Art Auctions information:

What's Going On

The spring Saskatoon Potters Guild Sale and Exhibition is coming up May 2, 9 - 9 and 3, 9 - 5, at the Albert Community Centre, 11th Street and Clarence Avenue. Pottery demonstrations, door prizes and a variety of pots by SPG members.

Here's a picture of my chattered blue bowl that received the Best Functional Award last year. The theme of this years exhibition is "Multiples" and I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with.

Trying new things and having lots of fun. I'm excited about my recent work.