Starting with a Vernissage on April 6, 2017 the Galerie Côté Créations gallery space will be dedicated to exhibiting the work of members of the Ottawa Guild of Potters.
I made the following submission and one of my pieces, titled Emergence, was selected.
Submission from Art Petch
Art Petch has been working with clay for the last 18 years. He began by working as a studio potter at the Nepean Visual Arts Centre. After joining The Ottawa Guild of Potters Arthur became a founding member of the Gladstone Clayworks Cooperative, but subsequently build his own studio, Alpine Clayworks in Ottawa’s west end.
While constructing his studio he worked as a volunteer technician at the Nepean Visual Arts Centre Pottery Studio and began the web site OttawaPottery.com to help support the ceramics community it Ottawa. In addition, he now also sends out a periodical newsletter from the website that lists upcoming events and some news items. He maintains a sister site, Ottawa Pottery ALIVE, on Facebook (https://facebook.com/ottawapottery/).
My work has emphasized the use of hand building techniques and most especially the use of an extruder which forces clay through a die, usually made of plywood. While the spinning wheel and hand pressure of traditional wheel throwing emphasizes rounded shapes the compressive force that forces clay throw the openings in a die produces objects that are more linear but also reminiscent of the way water and wind produce waves that crest and spill out into sensual forms that reflect a new way clay can capture the energy applied to. Many of my sculptural pieces explore the possibilities produced by the dies I produce in my studio.
While working with the extruder has led me into non-utilitarian ceramics such as sculptures, I do maintain an interest in making objects that have a practical use. These include bowls that reflect the forms of nature, such as shells and cylindrically shaped birdfeeders made from extruded cylinders, and most recently, tables made with an extruded, coffee table style base and a non-extruded top.
When responding to the forms that I extrude for sculptures I try to minimize the altering of the initial shapes that I decide to work with and be accepting of the glaze firing results that I get. In doing this I am mindful of the concept of “organic perfection” as defined by Ottawa chant master, Barclay McMillan of Voice Emergent. The idea behind “organic perfection” suggests for example, that while an apple may be one’s idea of the perfect form, the apple flower bud should also be seen as being “organically perfect”.