Sheryl Willson

Sheryl graduated from Capilano College, North Vancouver, in 1988 with a diploma in Graphic Design and Visual Communications.

In 2000 Sheryl went back to school to study Fine Art at Langara College in Vancouver, where she developed a love for clay. In 2004 she and her husband moved to Sorrento and set up a full time pottery business.

Sheryl has explored a wide variety of forms and glazes that give her pottery a dynamic feel.

“I enjoy creating objects that celebrate life.”

They can be functional or simply beautiful, but what I want is for them to be inspiring and uplifting. I have a great appreciation for the affect that one’s visual surroundings have on one’s state of mind. This belief inspires me to surround myself with things that feed my soul. It also inspires me to make things that bring me joy as I create them, and in turn, I hope that they’ll bring joy to those who use them.

My main line of work is domestic pottery but I like to play with sculpture and decorative pieces as well. Either way, I make things that have lots of room for exploration within their form, decoration and glaze, creating families of objects that celebrate differences yet gel as sets.

When I make pots for the kitchen and serving, I aim to design wares that are at once both functional and aesthetically pleasing. I find it exciting when these two elements are balanced and the beauty of a piece enhances it’s usefulness.

Judi Prevost

Jude gravitates to colourful, whimsical designs with each of her pieces starting with a flat slab of clay. From there she uses a variety of tools, molds and cuts to create items that are fun to use and to display.

To achieve the soft, satin look on the finished piece she uses terra sigillata.
Terra sigillata is an ultra-refined clay slip that she applies to bone-dry wares and then polishes with a piece of plastic while still damp. The term terra sigillata, which means ‘sealed earth’, comes from the name of a type of Roman pottery mass-produced around the first century.

Teaching Pottery classes has been another clay adventure that allows Jude to add a bit more hustle and bustle into her studio, and “colour” into her days /evenings.

Madeline Whittington

I make porcelain and some stoneware pots for use. I am fascinated by the infinite variations of simple, understated shapes. I like to decorate the pots with fairly precise drawings or patterns which then shift slightly or dramatically when the glaze melts. I’m intrigued by the variations which the path of the flames creates on the glazed surface. The pots are fired in a propane kiln to 1300 degrees C, incandescent heat.

I live near the Adams River. The diversity of plant and animal life here is amazing! The changing colours and patterns of the plants, water and sky are a constant source of energy for me.

I grew up in the San Francisco area. I graduated with a degree in Fine Art from UBC. In 1973 my husband and I built Ravens Bluff Pottery on a hillside above the North Shuswap.

Sorrento Stoneware

Mark Hemmingson makes contemporary, user-friendly pottery. His line of stoneware includes dinnerware, bowls, kitchen accessories, and lots of mugs.

Mark creates in a spirit of tradition and experimentation. Each year he grows and evolve as artists, and so does our work. When you come to his sales you’ll find things he always makes, as well as original items he may never make again. It is this light of stability and creativity that guides him as he explores this incredible art form.

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Pottery began later in life for me. I graduated from UBC in 1989 with a major in Creative Writing, and a minor in Anthropology. I spent nine years in the social services including community work and employment counselling in the Vancouver area.

In 1995 I started a stained glass company called, Red Herring Art Glass. For the next ten years I created windows for homes in the lower mainland, and for pubs across Canada and the US.

“I discovered clay in 2004 when we moved to Sorrento.”

In the beginning I was going to work in glass and help Sheryl get her studio started. But, it didn’t take long to see how much there was to do to turn our two car garage into a proper studio. Soon I found myself building shelves, fixing kilns, mixing glazes, making tools, rolling out slabs of clay, and eventually sitting down at the potter’s wheel.

I started with small bowls, and gradually worked my way through the various shapes and sizes. As I took on new shapes I began to appreciate the variety of objects that can come from a simple ball of clay.

One thing I like about clay is that it can easily be re-used if the pot doesn’t turn out. There is a great freedom in knowing that mistakes are part of how I learn. On a new item I might throw half my pots into the recycle bin as I learn to create the form. I think of the first ones as sketches that allow me to see the dimensions I’m aiming for. I also enjoy making the same shape over and over. To some this may seem tedious, but I like working on one thing for a day or two, getting to know it better as I go. There may be forty or more items when I’m done, but, to me, I’ve been creating and refining the same piece all along.

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Salmon Bowl by Sorrento Stoneware

Duncan Tweed

Duncan TweedGrowing up in Glendale, Arizona Duncan found his love for pottery at the age of fourteen in a grade 9 ceramics class. From the beginning he was hooked by the responsive nature of the clay as well as the wonderful satisfaction of creating permanent, fired, forms from the impermanent soft clay. Taking another ceramics course each semester of high school he refined his technique and developed a very intuitive understanding of the ways that clay can be manipulated. In the spring of his final year he had the opportunity to apprentice under a full-time ceramic artist, Joseph Woodford, in nearby Chandler, Arizona. This afforded him the opportunity to study the techniques of a professional artist as well as foster greater understanding of what it takes to thrive in the fine arts community.

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From there Duncan continued his study of ceramics at Northern Arizona University receiving both a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics and a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration emphasizing in Management. During his study he participated in many national exhibitions, received multiple scholarships for his creative endeavors, and exhibited for several years at multiple local galleries. It was also during this time that Duncan increased his appreciation for nature becoming an avid rock climber, mountain biker, and whitewater raft guide in the Grand Canyon. Many of his surface and forms can be directly traced back to the tumultuous lines of whitewater rapids or the smooth curve of a rounded river rock. Northern Arizona University has one of the largest woodfired kiln facilities in North America, with eight woodfire kilns at the time of Duncan’s graduation. This coupled with the numerous other atmospheric kilns ushered in a new aesthetic involving the subtle color changes of flashing on bare clay and running, ashy, drips from the natural deposits of the kiln.

Pottery by Duncan TweedUpon graduation Duncan moved to Salmon Arm, BC to teach pottery at The Workshop: Studio and Gallery. Teaching ceramics allows for an ongoing creative dialog with his students and an ever-increasing repertoire of forms and surfaces. Since moving to BC the aesthetic of atmospheric firings has continued to be at the forefront of his ceramic design. Through the use of multiple sprayed glazes he achieves very similar results to the atmospheric firings of a wood kiln without the significant loss of work that can sometimes be associated. This process, while time consuming, gives Duncan a great degree of control over the finished surface and still occasionally affords unique and serendipitous results.

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