Tobias has been a working artisan for over 40 years. Some of his ceramics instructors include Harlen House, Hal Regar, Jack Surs, Marylin Levine, Roy Kiyooka, Santo Mignosa and Léopold Foulem.
Tobias also weaves, fuses dichroic glass, produces torch-work beads, and creates sterling jewelry. He has taken courses in “Hollowware” in London, UK, and Canadian metalsmith Crys Harse. Tobias has taken repoussé classes with Valentine Yotkov of New York, and Nancy Corwin of Calgary, as well as several local instructors in silver jewelry. His degree in Fine Arts was a major in Printmaking, and a minor in Ceramics.
Several years ago, Tobias discovered that his great-grandmother had Chickasaw Cherokee roots, and he has been exploring his First Nations heritage through his art. Much of his work reflects; ceremonial, medicinal, herbal, and food plants Chickasaw Nation, including traditional and historic depictions from the medicine wheel to sacred motifs symbols like the World Weaver Spider, Weeping Man.
Tobias has always been interested in textiles, the use of natural fibres and plants used for dyes. He has raised sheep, sheared wool, spun, and created woven material from “scratch to finish”. Today, the main fibres used are rayon, silk, linen, cotton, viscose, and rayon chenille. With these, rugs, shawls, and scarves are lovingly made. Colour and texture, forms and function, this is the historical essence of humanity and craft history, as well as ingenuity combined with practicality. Like the myth of the girl, the womyn, and the crone, weaving the threads of Life.
“A four year olds perspective: the best thing about going on a clay dig is sliding down the slippery bank into the river.” My memories of perfect southern Alberta summers spent playing with clay in my Grandma’s studio.
“When a skill is something we learn through play as a child we are not aware it’s a skill, it’s just an intuitive part of us.”
My current work is organic, and spontaneous sometimes with a metaphorical intent and sometimes it has a hey wake up message. The world we live in has become one of bombarding messages as we all try to make sense of it and find our peace. Where is the truth and where is the fiction in the messages we receive, its a documentation of my sorting through it all in my own way. It’s about life, memories, re-birth, letting go, relationships, balance, and contrasts.
These pieces are just a sampling of my extended body of work.
I do functional pottery, it is like meditation with a bit of an uneasiness wrestling below the surface. It’s the place where i can process and think about a lot of “stuff”. We all have a lot of “stuff” we are trying to sort through these days.
I have been commissioned to make dinnerware, and my dinnerware has been in shows by invitation as far away as Louisville Kentucky. I enjoy the peaceful feeling of making bowls, mugs and plates…. for a little bit. Then I dive back into the deep, and who knows whats going to happen next time.
Dianne began her clay studies at Elmwood Studios in London, England. It was here that she developed her love of clay and a desire to learn as much as she could about its possibilities. In Canada, further studies at the University of Regina and Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver led naturally into teaching, a most wonderful way to learn.
Dianne produces stoneware pottery with carved glaze patterns from her studio in Victoria. There is a wide range in her repertoire, from oven dishes to sculptural urns. Bowls are the mainstay of her work and she finds them a joy to make from the teeniest to more than two feet across. The forms are strong; the glazes are satiny and made for handling. The pots are intended for daily enjoyment in the home.
Studio Visits By Appointment
Victoria stores that carry her work – Gallery of Artisans
Vancouver stores that carry her work – Gallery of B.C. Ceramics
Joan Kagan has been involved with pottery for over thirty years, continuing her fascination with the potter’s wheel. She believes that a person can’t have too many bowls, and that even the most basic every day pottery can be displayed as well as used. Her mission is to create pottery that is practical for daily use and pleasing to look at.
She has worked as a potter since retiring from high school teaching and counselling in Toronto. Over the years she has learned from many fine potters in Canada and the United States. She has recently made her home in Victoria British Columbia where she has established her new studio. She continues to teach and to make her lines of household wares, while experimenting with new shapes and colours, and continuing to learn. She is inspired by her new warmer city where she takes great pleasure in being able to see the ocean every day.
Peggy’s functional pottery is made from a durable stoneware clay and is hand thrown on the potter’s wheel. All glazes are microwave, dishwasher and oven friendly. She specializes in creating a ‘chattered’ texture on the outside of her pieces but also likes to add 3 dimensional slip designs or brushwork to her pieces.
Peggy’s crystalline glazed pieces range from wheel thrown to dramatic slab structures. For this technique, she uses high fired porcelain clay which reflects the holographic crystalline blossoms beautifully. This “frost from fire” effect is created through a marriage of an in depth knowledge of glaze chemistry and the magic of a complex firing process.