In the brief lunch break during last Saturday’s Clay Symposium we quickly selected salad, a wrap and a cookie from the catered offerings before joining Medalta’s Aaron Nelson for his critique of the Ceramic Roadshow. All participants were invited to bring something which is mainly ceramic for us all to see. It could be something purchased, ancient or contemporary or a piece made by the owner. It’s always fascinating to see what other potters value or would like critiqued and as usual the selection was eclectic and impressive. I recognized work by friends and enjoyed seeing foreign purchases and long-loved heirlooms. There was even a Peter Pincus piece which had been won in an online competition by Heather Dahl. Lucky!
Aaron walked around the display with a hand-held microphone and discussed pieces that grabbed his attention because of the technique, or if he recognized the maker from his Vancouver days or if it was a factory-made piece similar to pots that were made at Medicine Hat potteries in the early twentieth century.
At the last minute I chose to take in my most recent effort, a square earthenware plate. I had used my usual brightly coloured slips, terra sigillata and clear glaze but had enjoyed playing with an abstract pattern and wondered what other potters would think of it. So it was a happy moment for me when Aaron picked it up and grinned with apparent delight, noting how very different it is from the quiet colours of the salt-glazed pieces he’d seen me making when I was a Medalta artist-in-residence, under his guidance. Made my day!
Take a look at the general photos and some specific pieces that I liked and which I’ve tried to identify correctly. To the organizers of these symposia I must say that this random roadshow is one of the highlights of the day.