Clayton Community Centre

PGAC_20141009_Final_CP29_01_I001_ContentMy inspiration
Functional pottery. Experimenting with glazes. Plants, flowers. “Primitive” pottery. Art in general. Working with my hands.

My art history
More like anti-art history. Mostly self-taught. Worked as a technician for Don Reitz in Madison, Wisconsin, and at Sheridan School of Design. Participated in a number of workshops. Did some jewellery a long time ago. Have taken drawing lessons with Cathy Blake in Almonte.

My favourite things
Music: I play saxophone in a few bands. Occasionally sing in an improvising choir of Christine Duncan. Am interested in free jazz and contemporary music. Gardening.

My story
Before moving to North America, I spent a lot of time in Amsterdam around the university, while teaching high school. During the summer I used to hitch-hike to Sweden and Norway to work as a lumberjack and tree planter.

I am a geologist and X-ray crystallographer. Saskia, my wife, was a potter when we first met. I got into making pots when working on a thesis on clay minerals and talking with graduate pottery students at the University of Wisconsin about technical (geochemistry, mineralogy, physics) clay problems. I dropped out of science and into pottery due to the Vietnam war, and was a member of the Cat’s Cradle Craft Cooperative in Madison WI.

After moving to Canada I worked as a ceramics technician and teacher at the Sheridan School of Design and worked on establishing the Harbourfront Crafts programme in Toronto. Worked as a CUSO volunteer on a village pottery project in Thamaga, Botswana for three years. Returned to Canada and established Clayton Clay Works. Restored my heritage-designated 150 year-old house.
In the late 80s I reinvented myself (mostly for financial reasons) and became a technical writer and sold my services to the IT industry for about 25 years.

Worked on a pottery project in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2007-08.

Now I am potting again, in the Clayton Clay Works studio, in downtown Clayton. Because of my technical background I particularly enjoy teaching glaze chemistry classes, in addition to general pottery.

My dream
I don’t dream. Or maybe I always dream. I believe in cooperative action – the Crown and Pumpkin Tour is part of this.