Meet Jenny. Our youngest maker in Populace so far. Jenny is a Grade 9 student who discovered pottery at a local community arts centre. She has only worked on the wheel and Populace has shown her how to work with slabs – rolling and stretching. So far, it is the rose that Jenny prefers to make. We are going to count along as Jenny spends her time throughout the year making sculptures for Populace. At the time that this blog post has been created, Jenny has made 36 roses, 21 feathers, and 6 lilies. All by herself! Let’s check in next week and see how many more she has added to our collection.
In October, Ridgemont High School was introduced to Populace. It was the first time that most students had touched clay and yet, all were able to create some very beautiful roses for the project.
For the first session, students who are brand new Canadians, had a chance to try their hands at making a clay rose. Judy Lazier is an art teacher who is responsible for bringing Populace to Ridgemont and Ridgemont to us.
Ridgemont High School has a goal to create 200 feathers and flowers for Populace.
As many potters will tell you, a potter’s work is often solitary, either working alone in a studio or lost in thought in a group class. Not so with Populace! One of the things that we love about this project is how it is bringing people together. The Thursday studio at the Nepean Visual Arts Centre (http://ottawa.ca/en/liveculture/art-centres/nepean-visual-arts-centre) spent a raining Friday morning making Populace roses. The roses were spectacular and each one was as unique as the individual potter who made them. Thank you for the Thursday roses!
In last night’s Ottawa Guild of Potter’s meeting, our guest speaker, Puck Janes, reinforced the notion that the community-driven nature of the project Populace was similar to her experience in the Saskatchewan pottery scene, which works in a progressive, collaborative manner.
Puck introduced us to many Saskatchewan potters including Carol Epp, Vic Cicansky, Randy Woolsey, Joe Fafard, David Gilhooly, Greg Hardy, Jack Sures, Marilyn Levine, and the Emma Lake International Collaboration and many more.
Lynda Northey’s beautiful studio in Dunrobin, Ontario played host to over 30 potters who came out over two consecutive weekends to learn how to make the three sculptures for the Ottawa Guild of Potter’s initiative Populace for Ottawa 2017. It wasn’t easy at first. It certainly wasn’t as easy as it looked – even for professional potters. The pieces were designed to recognize the three founding cultures at the time of Confederation in Canada 1867: the Indigenous Peoples, the French and the British peoples. The rose sculpture, beautifully realistic, seemed the most complex sculpture to create, and while having the most pieces to cut out, was the easiest to execute. The feather sculpture, while it looked the easiest to create, took the longest to execute and required a couple of efforts to get the vanes of the feather looking sharp! The lily or fleurs de lis is the most delicate of the sculptures and takes a bit of gymnastics to create as there is an upside-down building technique and an unfolding that takes a surprising amount of finesse. Clay artist, Hilde Lambrechts, designed the sculptures and the garden in which they will be displayed.
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