Why would anyone collect pottery? Let alone invest hours of time researching potters, their marks, clay and glaze varieties, techniques, etc. For me, it started years ago in in an antique store in Snohomish WA.
Tagging along with a friend on a day trip to an antique mall, it sparked within me a previously unknown interest in art and design. I had always enjoyed studying history, a trait I acquired from my father, so being in a building full of historical artifacts that you could actually buy was very appealing to me. I didn’t find a piece of pottery that day (although I’m sure there were likely some excellent examples laying about) but I did walk away with a $22 bakelite tube radio - which is all I could afford on a university student’s budget.
I answered an ad in a local classified that had a few pieces of WGP for sale at what I remember was a good price. When I went to this fellow’s home, we hit it off immediately over our shared interests and he invited me in to see his collection. What I saw though, was what remains the best collection of western Canadian pottery I’ve seen.
Hundreds of pots, tastefully curated and displayed throughout his home. The variety of shapes, colours and forms struck me immediately and every one of them had a story. He knew most of them by their chop mark, an interesting code on each one that I remember fascinated me. He knew where each one worked, when they potted and what styles they were known for. Who was important and why they were significant. And he said something to me I found rather poignant, “West German pottery is great but its factory made and there are thousands of copies out there. Each one of these pieces are hand made in a studio. Truly one of a kind.” That was it, I was hooked.
My new friend didn’t sell me a piece of pottery that day, his collection wasn’t for sale but it did start a renewed interest in the search for me. Over time I would build a collection of works by some of the great names in Canadian pottery; Hansen-Ross, Walter Dexter, Luke Lindoe, Jack Sures, and Wayne Ngan among them.
My interest in Canadian studio pottery continues to this day and has grown into a passion project - this site being part of it. Thank-you for visiting. I hope you are able to learn from it and find something useful in it. Please check back from time to time.
Studio Pottery Canada
Pottery enthusiast learning about the history of this Canadian art form and curating samples from the best in the field pre-1980.