monday morning eye candy: Make and Do Ceramics

So forgive me but I’m going to diverge slightly from the usual monday morning eye candy post to introduce a project that’s been happily consuming a lot of my time lately. I assure you though that there will still be some lovely eye candy… : )

Make and Do is a project that is the brainchild of Mariko Paterson and myself after too many late night chats about our mutual desire to have a means to find out more about the current state of ceramic art in Canada. More and more often as of late I’ve been contacted by international galleries, publications, curators and the like, asking for suggestions of Canadian Clay Artists for them to look at. And it led me to the sad realization that as much as I’m a part of the Canadian clay community I also struggle to get a clear sense of what’s happening across this expansive land of ours.

This frustration led Mariko and I to channel our youthful can do attitudes and to begin the humble steps towards change. And thus Make and Do was born.

So what exactly is make and do? well….

make and do
is a new initiative to promote ceramic design and art from Canadian
makers. the group has been brought together under the common goal of
working towards greater exposure and knowledge of canadian ceramics

We’ve pulled together 15 ceramic artists from across Canada who not only made amazing work but who already had established strong social media platforms.

Top row: Lesley McInally, April Gates, Russell Hackney, Sarah Pike, Robin Dupont
Middle: Jenna Stanton, Kalika Bowlby, Shane Weaver, Cathy Terepocki, Krystal Speck
Bottom: Marney McDiarmid, Heather Braun-Dahl, Katy Drijber, Mariko Paterson, Carole Epp

The main goal of the Make and Do website is to put a collective voice together so that as makers we can work together to help and support each other and our individual businesses. We’ll have an online shop opening on March 1st and will be curating monthly guest artists to join us in the shop every month. The website also hosts a blog that will grow to be a look into the ceramic scene across the country. Artists can get in touch and are encouraged to let us know about exhibitions, workshops and events that are happening across the country.

One of the most inclusive parts of the website and one that makes us quite proud is the Canadian Clay Directory. 

This will be a long term project, but our intent is to pull together as many ceramic artists, organizations, galleries, and resources all in one place. It’s hugely ambitious we know, but it’s long overdue. Please consider contributing to the directory or supporting it with a donation. All of this work is being done by our make and do crew on a volunteer basis so your support means A LOT!

So if you want to find out more please visit the Make and Do website and have a look around. You can also follow us on instagram or facebook.

We’re also encouraging people to start using the hashtag #canadianceramics this is simple thing we can all do to help build a reference source for Canadian Clay.

I hope you’ll join us on this new adventure, whether you’re from Canada or from afar, this site is for everyone.

And now as promised here’s some monday morning eye candy from the make and do crew.
Happy Monday!

 Kalika Bowlby

Katy Drijber

 Marney McDiarmid

Cathy Terepocki

 Lesley McInally

 Shane Weaver

Russell Hackney

Sarah Pike

Jenna Stanton

Krystal Speck

Mariko Paterson

 Heather Braun-Dahl

April Gates

Carole Epp 

Robin Dupont

The Narrative Dish @ the Sask Craft Council

The Narrative Dish
Selected by ceramic artist and musing about
mud blog editor, Carole Epp; the exhibition The
Narrative Dish
brings together a group Canadian ceramic makers whose work
makes significant investigations into the use of narrative and imagery on
functional tableware. Specifically, this is a group of six female artists whose
awareness and understanding of each other’s professional practices makes for
the perfect storm, or maelstrom if you will, of storytellers.
Fundamentally, what makes a good story…how
does one weave a good narrative and what is the best way to get that story to
stand the test of time? Of course there is the tradition of passing down
stories through oral legacies and by means of pen and paper. Storytelling
formats include everything from audio and videotape, book and newspaper and
currently all sorts of technological and virtual formats as introduced via the
computer times we now live in. Let us add to the list the realm of art…and more
specifically ceramics that has a far-reaching history of serving as a narrative
conduit. An indelible and permanent material, clay materials long outlive its
makers, stand all sorts of tests of time and by virtue serves as the one of the
most perfect vehicles for story telling.
The predominance of narrative imagery that
graces the functional ware of virtually every ceramic-producing culture throughout history has
long since depicted the people, values and culture. In effect, the practice of
placing and impressing imagery upon a material of such permanence has served as
a record keeper of sorts that continues to this day. It is the longstanding
lineage of such a practice that served as an inspiration for bringing together
contemporary artists for an investigation into contemporary Canadian portrayals
of social narrative.
As core values in society shift slowly but
noticeably towards a reaffirmation of the value of the handmade, these artists
represent a new generation of clay artists who are using their chosen medium to
depict our times in the most intriguing of ways. Some of the artists embrace
and employ their narrative ceramic practice through au so courant illustrative means
that are currently trending through “indie” design aesthetics while others opt
for a more humble retelling of contemporary narratives. Some retell and record
their stories with a sense of refined grace that has rubbed off on us via the
world of graphic design while others employ a visceral meat-and-potato approach
to aesthetics more akin to the worlds of folk art, comics and cartoons. Using
the concept of the narrative as a vehicle for their artistic endeavors, each of
the selected artists in this exhibition is well versed, and ergo, serve as
prime examples of how specific technical and aesthetic choices make for the
retelling of their stories in the most unique ways. These artists I believe have  captured a feel for the culture and
interests that comprise contemporary Canadian society today.
While a diverse and broad range of ceramic
practitioners currently work within the genre; thus affording a large breadth
of artists to select from, these particular makers were selected to represent a
certain subsection within the genre. Each of the artists help to identify
either a specific female narrative; a generational narrative, a design based
aesthetic and even narratives of a geographical nature.
Participating artists:
Elizabeth Burritt, Jenn Demke Lange, Cathy
Terepocki, Mariko Paterson, Carole Epp, Aura Carney
Please check out the exhibition online here.