Ceramics Instructors honoured

For the final hour of the Clay Symposium we gathered in the James Cowan theatre to honour and thank five retired Ceramics Instructors and to hear the day’s Keynote Speech.

Carol Mayer explained that this year the Clay Collective decided to honour five long-time leaders in our field. They were invited to Ken Mayer’s photography studio for formal photos to mark the occasion but I’ve chosen to show the more light-hearted photos of each. All five have now retired from teaching but are actively pursuing their studio practice. They have all played a huge part in the education of clay folks from the Lower Mainland and beyond. 

Sally Michener

Tam Irving and Sally Michener both taught in the Ceramics department of Emily Carr College of Art and Design, now ECU, for many years. They were my instructors for many of my ceramics courses there over three years – way back when.

Sam Kwan

Sam Kwan was the instructor at Capilano College, where, sadly the ceramics department has now closed. He was also a much appreciated technician at Emily Carr  College for several of their intensive Summer ceramics courses.

David Lloyd

David Lloyd taught at Kwantlen College and welcomed the Fraser Valley Potters Guild to their meetings there.

Don Hutchinson

Don Hutchinson was the head of Langara College’s clay department as well as maintaining a membership in Bob Kingsmill’s clay studio on Granville Island.

Thank you, all five of you, for your untiring encouragement to us and your advocacy of clay work as a career and a passion. It was good to see you all last Saturday.



Steven Young Lee

Then followed a slide talk by Steven Young Lee, the director of the famous Archie Bray Foundation. He gave us a fascinating account of its foundation back in the fifties, the well-known clay artists who have worked there and its importance to this day. There are interesting parallels between ABF and our own Medalta, both of which have clay manufacturing origins.








To finish up the day Linda Doherty announced that her long-time colleague and head of Shadbolts’ Ceramics Department, Sharon Reay, is retiring in April. We shall all miss her enthusiasm and thoughtful coordination of clay happenings there. Her shoes will be hard to fill.

Sharon Reay

The BC Potters Guild hosted a supper in the Shadbolt Centre afterwards which provided a happy wind-down and friendly get-together after a jam-packed day. I shall be looking forward to the next Symposium three years from now.

3 Responses to “Ceramics Instructors honoured”

  1. suzy birstein

    Mar 26. 2017

    super great of you to write this, Gillian. yes, – this was one of my favourite parts of the Symposium!!

  2. Gillian McMillan

    Mar 26. 2017

    Thanks Suzy.

  3. Fran Friesen

    Mar 27. 2017

    Thank you for posting Gillian. I remember fondly Sally and David who were my primary instructors in clay, David at Kwantlen and Sally at Emily Carr. The best of instructors and motivatirs and encouragers of creativity.
    If you run into them again please give them my best regards! 😊

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