Who would have thought that Saskatoon SK and London ON were worlds apart? But on so many levels it feels like a different world to me. Maybe it’s the fancy hotel sheets, the lack of a toddler clamouring for attention, or the fact that London is home to Canada’s best Commercial Ceramic Gallery that sets it apart. Regardless there is something magical going on here.

Yesturday I arrived in London for the events surrounding Matter of Clay III which is being hosted by Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery only to be completely floored upon entering the gallery; a gallery that goes on forever filled to the spilling over point with amazing ceramic art by artists, some of which I’ve only ever seen in print. My eyes didn’t know where to lay rest, I was overwhelmed by eye candy and my hands wanted to touch each and every piece.

To kick off the weeks’ events we crammed, I’m not sure how many national ceramic artists, into the cozy Scot’s Corner pub, filled them with drinks and had what I figure was likely the most entertaining evening the local Londoners have seen in a while. Mrs. Conception brought the crowd to their dancing feet, old friendships were renewed and I met more people than I could ever hope to keep their names straight. I was introduced to ceramic heros I’ve admired for years, amazing collectors who travel great lengths for exhibitions like this (a world I am just beginning to see, and am hardly close to understanding the weight of), and a gallery owner and manager (Jonathon and Brian) who work tirelessly to bring not only makers together with collectors, but also makers together with makers.

Canada is big and broad. We have heaps of amazing artists, but often one province is unaware of what the next is doing in terms of craft. Maybe we all just have our noses in the clay dust and are working away, so busy trying to maintain our various practices; but sometimes it feels like there needs to be a better unifying force in Canada to bring us all together. Nation wide ceramic publications don’t exist here, conferences tend to be more regional in their draw. So it is historical to see an event like this that brings so many of Canada’s ceramic artists together into one room. It’s a bit electric. And filled with possibility.

I can hardly wait to see what today will bring especially with the exhibition opening this evening. More to follow….

In the meantime here’s a video from Jonathon: