Steven Heinemann @ The Gardiner Museum

Steven Heinemann: Culture and Nature

On now till Jan 21, 2018

Curated by Rachel Gotlieb

From the Gardiner Museum Site:

For the past thirty-five years, acclaimed Canadian artist Steven Heinemann has transformed the medium of ceramics in Canada. Working in varying scale, Heinemann explores the paradoxes between culture and nature, deliberation and chance, interior and exterior surfaces.

This first major retrospective examines Heinemann’s fascinating and evolving process to reveal how he uses form, texture, pigment, and imagery to achieve his wondrously tactile bowls, pods, and other universal shapes that embody the polarities between life and nature.

Heinemann’s process can stretch over months or even years, firing a piece multiple times, and reworking the surface by sandblasting, scratching, polishing, and stenciling to evoke glyph-like imagery. His studio is evoked in the gallery through an installation of sketchbooks and source material, including original photographs and a wall of ceramic test tiles. A time-lapse video shot by the artist documents a treated clay surface as it dries, warps, and cracks according to chance and calculation.

Click here to see Steven Heinemann in his studio discussing one of the works in the exhibition.

Wednesday November 8, 6:30 – 8 pm
Artist Lecture: Steven Heinemann
Steven Heinemann reflects on his career as a Canadian contemporary ceramist and how philosophies of ecology, cosmology, and ancient artifacts have inspired his work.
$15 General / $10 Gardiner Friends
Learn more

Saturday November 11, 2 – 4 pm
Steven Heinemann: Culture and Nature Exhibition Walk-Through
Join Steven Heinemann and contemporary ceramics collector Raphael Yu for a walk-through of Culture and Nature.
$30 General / $25 Gardiner Friends
Learn more

Saturday November 18, 10 am – 4 pm
Master Potter at Work: Steven Heinemann
Steven Heinemann leads an intimate observation-based workshop in our Community Clay Studio for emerging, established, and curious ceramic makers, exploring key elements of his artistic process.
$30 General / $25 Gardiner Friends
Learn more

Read more about Steven Heinemann in the Globe and Mail this week.


monday morning eye candy: Sandra G. Storey and Margriet Aasman


From the Arts Underground website:

“Sandra’s statement: My practice usually keeps me solitary. Conversations go on internally and choices are made without external input. The Doll Show as we began to call it was a completely different adventure. Taking on the role of mentor, choosing to work towards a joint exhibition and making dolls? Stepping out of my comfort zone has never been so rewarding. The technical challenges of using a variety of materials and how to connect them has both informed and delighted me. Sharing my love of clay with a talented and dedicated emerging artist has deepened my understanding of the medium as well as instilling the confidence to explore pushing the boundaries of my own creativity in ways I would not have thought of before. As for dolls? Well, playing with dolls is just plain fun.

Margriet’s statement: By way of my wonderful career with Aasman Brand Communications, I know how much better I can be as a creative individual through teamwork. Missing colleagues, and needing help to master a brand new medium, I looked for a mentor. I have been so blessed to find one here in the Yukon, in the person of Sandra Storey. This show is about our special relationship, breaking down barriers to learning the technical skills, problem solving creative solutions, and stepping out of our comfort zone to push creative concepts. Developing our show based on dolls, from our personal experiences and perceptions to creative projections, has been so much fun! Although I love what was created, it is really about the process and a daily focus on living a purposely creative life.

Sandra is a clay sculptor who was born and raised in Whitehorse Yukon. She graduated with distinction from Emily Carr School of Art in Vancouver. Sandra spent many years traveling by sailboat and lived for twelve years in New Zealand where she became a teacher of art and opened Burning Issues glass and ceramic gallery in Whangarei. In 2006 she returned to the Yukon and settled at Tagish Lake. Sandra is a full time sculptor who draws her inspiration from the boreal forest, it’s animals and the mythology that surrounds them.

Margriet has been a Yukoner for almost 40 years. She has worked for much of that time as graphic designer, creative director and brand strategist in the agency she founded with her husband Al. Three years ago she chose to invest her creative energies in non-commercial work. This freed her to follow her passion for sketching, painting and three-dimensional artwork. Ultimately, she focused her attention on the discipline that has always been near to her heart, clay sculpture. Even so, her family, including eight beautiful grandkids, all living in the Yukon, remains the most important focus in her life.”

Exhibition on until October 28, 2017


monday morning eye candy: The Crafted Dish


Okay so this isn’t a typical Monday Morning Eye Candy for musing about mud, but hopefully you can forgive me this week. I’ve been working with National Clay Week over the last year on this amazing publication that showcases a range of ceramic eye candy and talent from across Canada. We’ve paired up gorgeous pots with mouth watering recipes to entice you to pull those beautiful pots in your collection out of the cupboard and use on a daily basis.

Sixty one artists are showcased in the publication, and we’ve included an essay by Julia and Yolande Krueger. Proceeds from the sale of the book will be donated to The Stop, our community partner in Toronto, ON. From their site:

The Stop strives to increase access to healthy food in a manner that maintains dignity, builds health and community, and challenges inequality. For over 30 years, The Stop Community Food Centre has been at the forefront of dignified, innovative programs that provide access to healthy food; build skills, health, hope, and community; and confront the underlying issues that lead to poverty and hunger. Our wide range of programs include drop-in meals, a food bank, community kitchens and gardens, perinatal and family support, civic engagement, and children and youth engagement.”

Below are some of the gorgeous spreads from the publication. I’m really proud of what we’ve accomplished on a zero budget, with the support of some seriously amazing folks in our creative community. Please consider adding this publication to your book collection. Support exposure for #canadianceramics and financially support The Stop and their programming.

Find out more about this project and links to the 61 artists:

Buy the book here: