a favourite jar

If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you’ll know that we like pottery – a lot. We don’t have a large collection and wouldn’t have a place for it even if we did. However, for many years, we’ve been bringing home the odd jar, bowl or vase that we come encountered in our travels. We like functional pottery that can be used and enjoyed every day. I suppose that’s tied to the lack of space around here for anything that isn’t “doing someting” (there are a few notable exceptions and perhaps we’ll get to them in time).

This is a jar that found a home with us quite a long while ago.. I’m not sure of the year, but it may have been 15 years ago. It’s by an Ottawa potter, Carolynne Pynn-Trudeau. It’s a favourite piece — not very large (approx. 15 cm. or 6 in. including the lid). I’ve posted a couple of views of it as it’s really quite unique (click on images for larger view). The jar is inscribed and glazed with figures of turtles, frogs, snails, snakes, salamanders, lizards and fish. It’s always seemed such a wonderful little piece of art — full of life, and very much speaks to our love and interest in all of these creatures.

Carolynne Pynn-Trudeau, pottery

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4 Responses to “a favourite jar”

  1. Wayne Says:

    oooh, pottery! We love pottery. Glenn more than merely dabbled in it years ago, he did some magnificent (to my mind, anyway) pieces, we got a kickwheel, gave it up in the late 80s and I’ve been urging him ever since to resume his passion for it. He tried it again earlier this year but could never get to class in time to claim an electric wheel, which is kind of important for him as he cannot use his legs, and none of his earlier-arriving fellow students would give theirs up and so he became discouraged.

    Have you thought about doing your own, Bev? I actually unearthed along our little creek a beautiful blue-white vein of clay – it’s still there – but we’ve never used it.

  2. burning silo Says:

    Wayne – I hope Glenn does resume his pottery-making. I remember seeing a post with some photos of his work on your blog back in the winter or early spring. That is discouraging about the class though.
    When I was in my teens, I did work with clay a bit — mostly sculptural stuff. From time to time, I think of taking a couple of classes, especially with the desire to make bowls – probably something incised and painted with glazes as that would be my natural inclination. I guess I’m deterred because of the distance to travel to a studio (I rarely leave the farm these days). I’ve occasionally contemplated just getting a kiln and wheel, etc.. as I tend to learn best on my own by just working at things for weeks (or months) until I’m pleased with what I’m doing. However, these days, I do get thinking about the fuel to fire a kiln — not so much the point of view of cost, but the comsumption of fuel and the pollution from the gases and glazes — and I soon talk myself out of the idea. I have to say that raku-firing has always fascinated me greatly though, and perhaps that’s something that I would take some classes in as they’re often workshops given over a weekend, and in this region, usually at a studio in the countryside somewhere. Could be a fun thing to try.

  3. Wayne Says:

    Bev – Glenn worked a bit in raku too, and though it doesn’t allow the bright primary glaze colors it does produce some really lovely earth-colored pieces that you can produce at a much lower temperature.

    Although we haven’t pursued it, and sold our manual kickwheel, the throwing or handbuilding part of pottery can be done at home. Then a single trip for a glazing and firing of a number of pieces can be done if you have that possibility close by, without having to worry about the various expenses of your own kiln.

    Yes, I’d really like to see Glenn do this again, and an electric wheel is probably the way to initiate it.

  4. burning silo Says:

    Wayne – Good idea about maybe just getting a wheel for at home and then taking pieces to be fired elsewhere. I’d have to check into possible studios where I could get that done. There used to be someone with a kiln about 10 km. from here, but they’ve moved away. I suspect I’d have to go to the dreaded city to find someone who would fire pieces.
    An electric wheel sounds like a great idea for Glenn to get back into working with clay. I’ve always found the texture of clay to be so therapeutic when I’m sculpting or handbuilding objects.