Working with clay became a passion for the next decade, living in the country, setting up a modest studio and building one of the first wood- fired catenary arch kilns in Saskatchewan.
I loved the clay for a number of reasons. It was ancient. Pottery shards from 10,000 BC have been found in Japan and all over the ancient world. Human beings have dug clay, formed vessels and fired them to functionality for millennia.
An itinerant lifestyle cannot sustain a pottery studio and I then moved on to other interests as I moved around this country. It was quite lovely to find you could be a writer and only need a pencil.
However the move to Calgary came with the happy discovery of the Mount Pleasant Arts Centre with its best in Canada member’s studio with an amazing array of wheels glazes, kilns and studio space. The wood fire kiln is one of my favorites and I love the ancient practice of firing the pots to over 1200 degrees Celsius with your basic sticks of wood.
Bob has yet to sell a pot … perhaps I am a non-motivational potter as well as a non-motivational speaker.
As part of Canada’s 150th birthday, I decided to get into the studio and do something special. I am very partial to the Japanese tea bowl, both as a functional object (I love that a bowl without a handle warms the outside and inside of you) and I love the beauty of an object that has thousands of years of history.
I believe we all are drawn at some point in our lives or maybe all through our lives, where we feel a strong desire to make something with our hands.
For some of us, it can be as simple as building a birdhouse, knitting a scarf or baking some bread. For others, it moves beyond craft and into art and maybe even into a piece of work for the ages. For most of us, however, it is enough for the pure joy and satisfaction of the “making.”