The establishment of the Whistler Pottery Club began in 2003 when Barbara Hirano, back from a residency in Hawaii, moved to Whistler to be with long-time friends Binty and Cheryl Massey. She looked first for opportunities to teach clay toboth children and adults. Venues were the local elementary schools and Ivanna’sdrop in studio. These limited spaces left her looking for a more suitable place.
In 2004 , Barbara approached Stephanie Nicoll, then programmer of the Recreation Commission with the idea of a Community Arts Centre. The director agreed to a meeting of Artists of the Valley in the High School’s new Art Room. Amazingly, 60 people showed up. All ofthem wanting to see a balance of recreation and creativity to be the definitionof Whistler Culture. This led to theorganisation of drop in evenings, demonstrations and workshops.
Many of the creative souls drifted away or became involved in other activities, but a core of potters remained. They formed a dream of a club where ceramists could share information, work together to finesse their skills, expand their knowledge and perhaps show and sell their work. Since this informal inception in 2004, and with partial funding from theWhistler Arts Council, the fledgling Whistler Pottery Club has held annualglaze workshops with master potter Vince Massey, and offered workshops with outof town guest potters Heather Cairns and Kay Austen. The club has explored Raku, Naked and Horsehair Rakufirings, Saggar firing and otherexperimental methods of firing, usually at Laurie MacCallum’s property on theoutskirts of town. The club has also held several Whistler based shows such as“The Tea Pot Show“ at the North Shore Credit Union, and “An Homage to Dr.Seuss“ at the Scotia at MY place.
Now, with the holding of the first AGM in December of 2012, the Club is officially a registered society. From a handful of dreamers to a thriving club with over 30members this group is still planning new things and pushing forward – with thepottery drop in sessions still a core element that holds the group together.
The Whistler Pottery Club meets Tuesday evenings at the well equippedhigh school studio for classes and drop ins. A workshop on photographingpottery with Anastasia Chomlack was held this spring. Thegroup will be participating in the Whistler ArtWalk during July 1 through toAugust 31, 2013 and will be hosting a juried group show `Shades of Winter` atthe Foyer Gallery in Squamish in December 2013. The club has a presence at theSaturday afternoon Made in Whistler Artisan Market held the Westin Resort.
Please take a look at our work, leave a comment and like us on our Facebook page…….Whistler Pottery Club. For moreinformation, please call Margaret at 604 902 3647 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Submitted to the BC Potter’s Guild by :
Barbara Hirano, LaurieMacCallum and KayAusten