The juror of Ceramics on the Edge 4, Mary Fox, braved the show’s opening reception to give her constructive comments publicly on work from 11 potters now on display at the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre’s Doris Crowston Gallery.
A prolific exhibitor herself, Fox is a celebrated potter from Ladysmith who pots with a passion and produces contemporary work based on classic shapes.
She remarked that Liz de Beer’s expressive, hand-built large vessels, much like Greek amphorae, had an air of mystery about them.
Roberts Creek potters Michael Allegretti and Elaine Futterman have both been working to master a new salt kiln that gives their latest work an entirely different elegant and textured look.
Pia Sillem’s work, particularly with clay seed pods, is “evocative of nature” said Fox. Sillem, on hand for the reception, described how she likes the physical involvement of chopping wood for her wood fired kiln.
Fox spoke of the strong rock and mountain feel to the work of Pat Forst who is influenced by her coastal environment. Forst commented that she chooses not to use colour and likes the natural consistency of the clay.
Shey Smith and Diane Fisher Amaral displayed their copper red and shino functional pieces.
“I love a good mug,” Fox said, prompting her to remind potters to “make things you enjoy making.”
Fox described Susanne Biden’s spiky, organic, other worldly shapes as “very original.”
“I like to create the tension between beauty and unease,” Biden said.
This fourth annual show of innovative ceramics has always had a place for emerging artists. Fox commented on the evocative work of Marilyn Butt, the developing personal style of Joanne Scanlan and the “fun work” of Betty Keller whose pots with animal heads labelled Cranky Chicken and Disagreeable Duck made the juror smile.
Keller is one of the organizers of the show along with curator Heather Waddell. She commented that every exhibiting artist had upped their game a bit over last year’s show.
The work is on display until July 29 at the Arts Centre in Sechelt.