on April 14, 2013 by test_editor in April, Archive_2013, Print Articles, Comments Off on April 11, 2013: Local Art Sale Becoming A Spring Tradition.

April 11, 2013: Local Art Sale Becoming A Spring Tradition.

April 11, 2013: Local Art Sale Becoming A Spring Tradition.
By Tim Thibeault.

In a sure sign that winter is being pushed back at last, the third annual West End Pottery Sale was held at the Churchill Seniors’ Centre at the end of March.
Twenty-five of the region’s best potters displayed their functional ware and artworks to an appreciative crowd of shoppers, there to pick up new works to enhance both home and office surroundings. Organized in 2011 by area potters, this show features a broad array of primarily functional stoneware pieces, but includes earthenware and mixed media sculptures.
Kitchissippi’s Sandra Marshall, produced a brilliant selection of wildlife observations reflecting her concern for the environment and the world of nature. On a six-inch driftwood base, a small, wily fox in stoneware with underglaze colours, gazes curiously at a globe constructed of swirling copper wire in a piece titled Wild Urban Spaces. Nearby, a stoneware otter glistens under a rich, black glaze as it rises from the tabletop seemingly ready to dive into the surface of a calm forest pond. The gesture and form of Marshall’s work show her keen powers of observation and her considerable skill at interpreting ideas important to her, to present strong visual arguments promoting appreciation and protection of the natural world.
Hintonburg Pottery’s Ginger McCoy displayed her colourful wall hangings and small slab-built dishes and trays. Imprinted with the textures of fabrics and stamps, many of her works suggest easily imagined landscapes or urban settings. Weathered barn board is used to texture some of her surfaces and in her cartoon-style houses, wall decorative pieces with colourful shutters, open windows and swirls of smoke rise from chimneys atilt with an insouciant disregard for any real world building code.
Many of the potters whose work was featured at this show, also display their work year round at McCoy’s shop, Hintonburg Pottery, at Armstong and Hinchey near Holland Avenue.
Allison Usher, an instructor and ceramic technician with the City of Ottawa, presented a vibrant display including elegant stoneware lanterns crafted from rolled slabs of clay with cut-outs scattered across all four sides. Her whimsical shoe series features a selection of oversized ladies’ shoes ranging from sensible suffragette era button-up walking shoes, stylish pumps that any contemporary fashionista might proudly wear on an afternoon stroll down Wellington Street.
Craftsmanship and attention to detail are features that make Usher’s more arty pieces stand out at a time when styles sometimes dictate a more slap-dash approach to suggest liveliness in art. Care in execution and attention to detail are traits that have endured since the craft of pottery began thousands of years ago. When the artist has enough respect for her own work to make the extra effort, the effect is always strong and enduring.
With its many talented and skilled participants, the West End Pottery Sale promises to become one of Ottawa’s highlight art events. The strong support shown by the community indicates that it is already well on the way to providing Kitchissippi ward with one more very welcome sign of spring.

2 ceramics mimicking an old boot and a ladies shoe.

Not just any old shoe.

Photo Caption: Footwear was a theme in Allison Usher’s collection at the West End Pottery Sale in March. Photo by Tim Thibeault.

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