I knew it wouldn’t be long before local, i.e. not Vancouver-based, artists would wonder if they could also have a go at painting on a non-canvas or paper surface, and join me to paint with underglazes on a Gill-made plate. Port Moody artist and instructor Judith Atkinson wondered, so I invited some of the TriCity potters who I know particularly like painting on a surface as well as making pots. On a Monday a couple of weeks ago Maria Palotas, Ysabella Choung and Gay Mitchell joined Judith here. Not to confuse local artists with my Vancouver Raiders I’ve dubbed them Port Painters.
Gay, who is actually best known as a painter and instructor too, spends an awful lot of her time taking classes and attending drop-in times in the clay department of Port Moody Arts Centre. She had painted some tiles for her recent show at Gallery Bistro and asked me to make some more, in red clay, for her painting day. She also painted a large oval platter.
Ysabella, perhaps inspired by the upcoming Lunar New Year of the Rooster, spent her day carefully painting and then sgraffito-ing a fine Rooster on a coupe plate.
Maria has once again chosen to apply bold colours, this time in rectangular shapes. She also made a red clay fish while here and later painted it and returned it to me to fire. Wait till you see it!
And Judith, after a preliminary, loosely painted experimental plate chose to make a drawing of Athena on a large platter. She is very interested in Greek culture and often uses it in her paintings.
So those plates are at the bottom of the kiln that has now finished its bisque firing and I know those four are anxiously waiting to see their results.
Two days later we attended the January TriCity Potters’ meeting and were reminded to get our work all finished and delivered to the February meeting ready for our March show! We are each invited to submit five pieces (some can be sets) as well as some communal work. An outdoor theme has been chosen, to represent an important part of Port Moody life – so we’ll see how members interpret that idea. As well, we have been encouraged to donate as many bowls as we want for the Arts Centre to use as they see fit, for a fund-raising initiative. I understand they plan a Dutch auction to coincide with the show, so that will be exciting for visitors.
Our speaker that evening was the clay department’s new Artist-in-Residence Gloria Han. She’s a busy woman, who raced in after teaching a class elsewhere, but we enjoyed her enthusiastic slide show, and can see that she is going to be a valuable asset to the clay programme for the remainder of her year. Watch for her solo show there in July.
Since then I have concentrated on making sure I had at least one special jugbird for our show, have painted a large platter with a fish hatchery theme, have thrown and decorated some bowls and finished painting some yunomis and bird mugs.
Fitting all that into the kiln, with my visitors’ work, was an interesting puzzle. Now Eliza Wang and Gay have asked me to glaze fire, to my usual cone 04, some more contributions of leaves. So I will need to do two glaze firings to accommodate all the bisque. Of course I’ll post photos of everybody’s finished work one day soon.