Pierre’s First Raid

On the first day of August Eric Metcalfe, Renée Van Halm and first-time Raider, Pierre Coupey showed up for a day of plate-painting. As I glazed their work today, I realized that was over two weeks ago. In the meantime Al and I spent an eventful nine days over on Vancouver Island.


It was good to have two seasoned plate painters here on Pierre’s first ‘Raid’. Eric, of course, has painted tens of plates and platters over many years, and it was in Renée’s recent show at West Vancouver Museum that Pierre noticed her three ceramic pieces alongside many splendid paintings. He was so excited to finally find a potter who is prepared to make plates, and provide colours and firing for other people. So between them, Eric and Renée were happy to give him some guidance on applying underglazes and how to protect bone dry plates as they are painted.


We encouraged him to experiment on some small plates at first, and he did. By the end of the day he’d applied layers of colours with big brushes, on  four plates, three white and one red clay, and had experimented with wax resist. I think he’s already plotting his next, bigger, plate.







It’s always good to have the companionable working time to get to know my visitors. It turns out Pierre has been active locally for decades. He is a founder of the Capilano Review, co- founder of the Georgia Straight, a poet and has been an abstract painter for many years.


Renee spent the whole day on one largish platter – she says it’s been a while so she felt rusty. I know the finished piece will be elegant, as usual. Eric refers to her as ‘ one of the great living West Coast painters’.


Eric painted two of his rimmed lunch-sized plates. There’s no mistaking his work.

And Marlene joined us a little later to put final touches to her Vancouver summer scene platter, and start another plate – so she’ll be here again before long.

It was a hot day but the basement studio is quite delightfully cool, and Al joined us for lunch of the usual donated potluck, out on the covered patio. Yummy salads, cheeses, cold cuts, hummus and bread make such a good summer lunch. 

Now those plates are warming up in the glaze kiln and will fire overnight and tomorrow. In a few days I shall post photos of the finished day’s work.



2 Responses to “Pierre’s First Raid”

  1. Liz Rhodes

    Aug 19. 2017

    Sounds as if you had a wonderful time together. I love those plates and look forward to seeing them when you have fired them.

  2. Pierre Coupey

    Aug 21. 2017

    What a wonderful day it was Gillian, thank you and thanks to you and Eric and Renee –– great fun, great food, great gossip! Can’t wait for the next one. xxP

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