All posts by JoVic

ABOUT US – 16

Sixteen central Vancouver Island Artists will be showing and selling their latest work at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery from November 18 through November 26.

Each artist has a unique approach to color, to canvas, to texture. All find their joy with paint.

Here’s a little gallery of some of their past work… to see the latest, come to the Waterfront Gallery. Though the show opening is at 7:00 PM on Nov. 18, an opportunity to meet the artists, the gallery will be open at 11:00 AM on that day for viewing. Show hours: 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM daily.

JoVic Pottery–More Than A Pottery

Josee and Vic Duffhues
Potter Vic, Painter Josée

JoVic Pottery represents two very different people. A couple in life, and a couple in their need to create beauty, Josée and Victor continue to count themselves fortunate to make a living working together. Their creativity isn’t only related to their studios: they’re also deeply involved with the local community theatre: Ladysmith Little Theatre in Ladysmith, BC. In fact, they’re currently working together to mount a comedy that Josée is directing with Vic as her Stage Manager. Be sure to catch The Kitchen Witches when it opens in February 2018.

Vic Duffhues concentrates solely on clay work, creating ceramic vessels for ceremonial use, including urns and decorative vases and platters. Vic also enjoys making dinnerware, mugs, goblets, steins, tumblers, and all the assorted pieces customers can use in their living rooms, kitchens, dining rooms, and bathrooms. He still enjoys the rhythm of the wheel, feeling that he centers himself as he centers the clay. Vic loves layering his glazes, creating texture and depth and taking the time to add extra firings so that his functional ware  as well as other vessels celebrate the art of glazing. The process is as important as the finished piece.

Josée has turned to painting in the last two years, seeking a different outlet for her artistic drive. She has qualified as an AFCA–an active member of the Canadian Federation of Artists. This required jury approval of submission of images of 10 of her paintings. So perhaps it’s understandable that her potter’s wheel is currently in storage–at least for the time being. Her work in acrylic abstract art may owe something to years of feeling texture with clay: she often uses textures on her canvases. This year certainly confirmed her decision to explore abstract art when she was accepted by juries for two fine art shows. Three paintings went to and sold at the Sooke show, and she has two paintings heading to the Nanaimo Federation of Canadian Artists’ Fine Art Show opening on November 4, 2017. She is also part of a group show, ABOUT US – 16, that will open on November 18 and run through to and including November 26 at the Ladysmith Waterfront Arts Centre Gallery. And Vic was just recently part of an outstanding show with 9 other ceramicists at this same terrific Gallery.

All in all, it’s turning out to be a very creative year for this couple, and they could not be more excited about their ongoing endeavors with clay and paint.

Vic and Josee with their work
Beautiful Pots, Beautiful Paintings, Happy Couple

 

JoVic Pottery — Upcoming Show at Waterfront Gallery

Victor Duffhues will join an excellent wheel of potters for a show on Contemporary Ceramics at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery. 

The Art of Kiln’n It will provide collectors of Vic’s amazing, textural stoneware with a glimpse at the pots he most likes to make–the ones that stretch his ideas for form, function, and glaze techniques. Here’s a little preview of a very pretty bowl.

Chattered & Bronzed Bowl

by Vic Duffhues

Some Recent Paintings by Josée Duffhues

Summer Studio Hours at JoVic Pottery

It’s a gorgeous summer here in the Oyster Bay area of Ladysmith, BC. JoVic Pottery makes visitors extra welcome during the summer, even extending hours to include Holiday Mondays.

Vic Duffhues, working on new lidded vessel.

We’ve undergone some changes to our showroom this summer. There are more paintings by Josée and Vic’s producing some truly outstanding decorative vases. His ash and crawl glaze treatments over fired-on layered glazes, provides discriminating collectors with beautiful stoneware for all occasions.

Both Josée and Vic are excited about upcoming shows. Vic will be part of a special exhibit by some of the best clay artists on Vancouver Island running from September 23 to October 10 at the Ladysmith Waterfront Gallery.

Three paintings to go to the Sooke Fine Art Show

Josee Duffhues is excited that all three of her submissions for the Sooke Fine Art Show were accepted.  The three paintings are part of a series of five with a theme of solitude. They are on Gallery Canvas and all feature intense texture.

Josee Duffhues Acrylic Abstract
Industrial Solitude Two 24 x 48 x 1.5″

The show runs from July 28 to August 7, 2017. It’s an incredible honor to be accepted.  Attend this fantastic show which features the best of the best from Vancouver and the Gulf Islands. This is a juried show. Expect to enjoy.

Acrylic Abstract Painting, Josee Duffhues
SOLITUDE, Abstract Acrylic by Josee Duffhues 18 x 24 x 1.5″
Industrial Solitude, Acrylic Abstract by Josee Duffhues, 30 x 40 x 1.5″
Poster for Sooke Fine Art Show
Sooke Fine Art Show

JoVic Pottery, Open Year-Round

Our studio, JoVic Pottery, is open pretty much all year. During the cold post-Christmas month, we do slow down, and that was especially true this past winter when we were walloped by snow storm after snow storm and cold temperatures we haven’t seen here in many decades.

Crawl or Alligator Glazed Bowl
Alligator Rim on Deep Blue Soup Bowl

But today I can tell you that production is back up, and there are lots of wonderful mugs, bowls, vases, dinnerware items, wine cups, tea pots, lidded vessels and of course Acrylic Abstract paintings practically singing in the sunshine.

Vic got into the studio even during that cold weather (despite our involvement with the Ladysmith Little Theatre and our roles in Absolutely (perhaps), he managed three dinnerware orders.

He’s also developed some exciting new ideas for dinnerware which uses the fantastic crawl glaze approach relying on multiple firings to make the glazes beautiful and durable while providing exciting texture and stunning beauty.

Blue Dinner Plate, Alligator Glazed Rim
Teal Blue Dinner with Crawl Glaze Rim
Deep Green Alligator Rim Plate

The sample images were taken with my cellphone and may not be as beautiful as the work itself. We hope visitors to our studio will take the time to see, touch and enjoy our exceptional stoneware dinnerware and artistic as well as functional pottery. There are also some amazing abstract paintings by Josee Duffhues on display.

Another Successful Studio Tour at JoVic Pottery

We’re so glad to have seen so many of our annual visitors returning again during the Cedar and Yellow Point Artisans’ Christmas Tour. This 4-day event is always fun, and a little exhausting. We spend lots of time cleaning the studio, and setting it up to give it just the right spirit. It’s worth the effort, and it’s even more wonderful when it is as successful as it was again this year. It is truly great to know that the beautiful stoneware pottery we love to make will become treasured Christmas gifts for some, while others could not resist treating themselves with some of our art.

We want to thank all our visitors, and also all the new customers that found us for the first time. We wish you the best of the season and a truly fantastic 2017.

I’m proud to say one of my favourite paintings also sold today.

Untitled, Acrylic on Gallery Canvas, by Josee Duffhues 30" x 40" $1000.
Untitled, Acrylic on Gallery Canvas, by Josee Duffhues 30″ x 40″ SOLD

Josee’s Abstract Acrylic Art

JoVic Pottery and the French Connection, Exchanging Workshops

It’s been a little while since I’ve found time for this website. But we’ve been working overtime since our trip to France this past Spring. A former apprentice of ours operates his pottery studio in Bretagne, l’atelier Terre précieuse, and we enjoyed a trip that allowed exchange workshops with Olivier Ruaud and Alice Urien Ruaud.

Vic using alcohol reduction in Bretagne
Vic using alcohol reduction in Bretagne

Alice and Olivier enjoy producing the variety of their work using Raku firing techniques–in truth a process that we have given up.

Horsehair Raku
Horsehair Raku

However, after putting in more than 20 years with this technique, we had a lot to share, from using Ferric Chloride to spraying pots with alcohol to bring out the copper highlights, through to using horse-hair and feathers on hot pots.

Copper Reduction
Copper Reduction

Olivier and Alice have a beautiful studio in what might arguably be one of the most beautiful provinces in France. Their specialty is “naked raku” which relies on a white slip that cracks and allows amazing images of smoked lines on their work. In addition, they use colorful commercial glazes in concert with this naked process.

We truly enjoyed learning some of Alice’s throwing techniques, and since coming home, we’ve enjoyed creating some items that have derived from her process. It’s truly wonderful to know that we can share our skills while continuing to develop our own.

Acrylic Painting by Josée Duffhues

Josée’s Acrylic Paintings

After years of making sculptural and functional pottery and only painting for my personal pleasure, I’ve made an unexpected step forward. Working with acrylics on gallery canvas, I’ve set myself free with abstracts. Please click on any of the images to see a larger version.

These are just some of the paintings I’ve created over the past few months and I’m delighted with sales to date. Some are still available.

Active Member Canadian Federation of Artists
Active Member Canadian Federation of Artists

JoVic Pottery and the Cedar & Yellow Point Artisans

Party Glasses from the Jolda Gallery
Party Glasses from the Jolda Gallery

JoVic Pottery has been part of the Cedar and Yellow Point Artisans Association since 1995. This phenomenal group of artists and artisans truly add special interest to the Cedar and Yellow Point area of Vancouver Island. Situated between Ladysmith and Nanaimo, we’re all truly easy to find.

Claudia Lohmann painting, Lohmann Gallery and Gift Shop
Claudia Lohmann painting, Lohmann Gallery and Gift Shop

We offer an annual Christmas tour each November, but we also have studios that remain open to the public year-round. Because of this, we also haven an annual Artisan Trail brochure enabling visitors to find our studios and discover the beauty around us which inspires so much of our work. This brochure, part of the Tourism Nanaimo program not only features the Artisan Trail, but includes hiking and walking trails, farms and fields, and dining and lodging for visitors to the area.

Glass Art from Honeysuckle Gift
Glass Art from Honeysuckle Gift Cottage

This summer, as part of our outreach, we’re also taking turns participating in the wonderful Cedar Farmers’ Market. It’s a terrific market offering local arts and crafts, organic produce, bath and beauty products, plants and flowers, and even artisan cheeses as well as dairy products and meats.

Each of the links provided here will help direct visitors to much of what the area has to offer. Of course we truly hope your visit will include a stop at our studio. It’s not just a great pottery, but we have a super wonderful property with lovely trees and plants. Be sure to come and enjoy the scent of the honeysuckle soon. It’s fantastic.

Honeysuckle in Bloom at JoVic Pottery
Honeysuckle in Bloom at JoVic Pottery

 

Ladysmith Spring Art Tour with JoVic Pottery

Vase 21" tall with a gorgeous bouquet to gild it
Vase 21″ tall with a gorgeous bouquet to gild it

The Ladysmith Spring Art Tour is set to start on April 24, 2015. It will run from 10 – 4 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Our own studio, JoVic Pottery, is open until 5:00 pm. Use this wonderful opportunity by taking the self-guided tour  to meet the artists in your neighborhood. Pottery, Glass, Printmaking, Painting, Hand hooked rugs, and so much more. You can also head to the tour Facebook page for more information and some images of the kind of work you’ll be seeing on the tour.

There are loads of beautiful new pots at our studio here in Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, including the always collectible Mocha and Crawl or Alligator glazed mugs.

Ginger Jar by Vic Duffhues Micro-crystalline & Ash Glazes $175
Ginger Jar by Vic Duffhues
Micro-crystalline & Ash Glazes

There are wonderful vases, lidded vessels, teapots, and so much more freshly coming from the kiln today and tomorrow. Be sure to stop by, making it a special weekend, checking out the lovely gardens filled with beautiful rhododendron blooms, apple blossom, dogwood blossom, azaleas and more. Yes, come celebrate spring with us.

Feel free to wander the garden, the studio and our showroom. Meanwhile, we’ll do our best to ask for sunny days while you travel our beautiful area.

Crawl-Glazed Vase with Blue interior $250
Crawl-Glazed Vase with Blue interior $250

 

Inspiration for JoVic Pottery in the Garden

Many potters will talk about the inspiration of previous master potters when it comes to the direction of their own work. They follow the examples set by such notable masters as Shoji Hamada, Bernard Leach, Lucie Rie and others who have had tremendous impact on the development of the modern potters following in their footsteps. But there are also potters who live in surroundings that inspire their lives and their work. We count our blessings to be among these.

White Camellia Blossoms
White Camellia Blossoms

We have also relied on the masters to hone our skills over the past 35 years, but we find that nature continuously offers us a palette that finds its way into much of what we create here at JoVic Pottery. We borrow from it to add beauty to our glazes and the textures of our work.

We have the amazing fortune of working and living in one of the most beautiful areas of British Columbia on Vancouver Island. In fact, we could say that it’s our honest belief that we live in the best part of Canada. With its temperate climate, spring always comes early to our island, erupting with colors and birdsong each new day, and constantly bringing new delight. From the red current blossoms so favored by hummingbirds, to the rhododendrons with their massive blooms, our garden brings joy.

Our studio is on our property, a 3-acre parcel which has a small creek running through and alongside of it. A wonderful right of way on one side provides tall trees that aid in creating a tranquil space, and our front yard boasts a circle of giant trees that within their midst offer respite from the heat in summer, as well as providing a contemplative oasis that practically hides us from the world. The boaters who come to Page Point Inn especially enjoy this area as a break from bright summer days, and we’re just a two-minute walk from their marina.

We are always happy to welcome visitors to our studio and property. And many of our visitors, especially those who don’t have the fortune of making their home here in the Ladysmith area, find delight in taking the time to wander through and enjoy both nature and our clay garden ornaments.  Come and see for yourself–we’ll welcome you.

 

Glazing Excitement for Vic Duffhues of JoVic Pottery

Vic Duffhues (JoVic Pottery, Ladysmith BC) has added a few more spray guns to his collection, making the options for creating greater depth and color on his final work much more fun, and definitely more interesting.

Cleaning and checking a glazed rim
Cleaning and checking a glazed rim

Each application is allowed to dry carefully before another application takes place, but in this particular approach, with less glaze being applied in the way it is sprayed, the waiting time is not extreme as it is with multiple dipped applications.

This vase gets a thumbs up...
This vase gets a thumbs up…

He’s clearly enjoying the work with this series of teapots and vases on the previously bisqued ware.

A variety of sprayed glazes on teapots
A variety of sprayed glazes on teapots

It will be fun to see the final results and I’ll be sure to post more pictures.

Bisqued Teapot being glazed
Bisqued Teapot being glazed

 

 

Garden City Potters at JoVic Pottery

We always love to teach and share some of our techniques with other potters, particularly those coming to our studio in Ladysmith BC, on Vancouver Island  via a guild appointment for a seminar, workshop or simply to see some demonstrations.

We truly enjoyed a recent visit from the Victoria, Vancouver Island potters of the Garden City Guild. Their pleasure throughout the day was more than evident. Lots of great questions made their delight and appreciation clear.

In particular, these potters loved learning about some of our “tools” invented to make our work easier. Vic Duffhues demonstrated wheel-throwing, waxing, trimming, handling techniques and more, showing these potters how he makes goblets, mugs, pansy rings, teapot lids and soap pumps. They also loved the clay art tiles in our kitchen and bathroom, and loved the garden sculptures by Jo Duffhues.

One of the best things about doing these workshops is that we always feel renewed ourselves. Excitement is contagious. We know these potters will go home to, as Pete Pinnell once wisely said: “imitate, assimilate and then innovate.”

We wish them all the best success with their own pottery and clay art and hope they will make a few return visits to JoVic Pottery in the years to follow.

Jo and Vic Duffhues
Jo and Vic Duffhues

 

Mocha Diffusion Mugs

Mocha Diffusion–Magic Landscape Pottery

Mocha Diffusion is a very special technique: a process that is almost magical to watch because of the very rapid way that landscapes are formed in front of your eyes.

Whenever visitors come to the studio here at JoVic Pottery, and we have the time to engage with them and show them a few things, a mocha demonstration is often at the top of the list.

Achieving success with the process on pottery often proves very difficult. Everything has to be just right for things to work. The pots need to be almost bone dry. At that stage they will rapidly absorb the slip applied. This slip is quite alkaline. The introduction of an acid can be shown by the addition of colorants to a tea made with boiled pipe tobacco.

Drying Mocha Greenware 1
Mocha Landscape Mugs Drying

If the pots are too dry, the slip just forms ugly blotches and runs. If the pots are too wet, the slip stay wet too long and the “trees” grow well beyond our desired needs right over the edges of the rims. It’s a Goldilocks process, so if the pots are just right, we can quickly make landscape strokes and add a little extra tea in those spots where we’d like a tree to “grow.” We really have a very short window in which to do this decoration and pure concentration is required, as well as a planned approach.

Mugs and Tumblers with Mocha Landscapes Ready to Fire
Mugs and Tumblers with Mocha Landscapes Ready to Fire

But for our visitors, we have a delightful solution consisting of a piece of plastic that we dip into the slip bucket. The slip stays wet, of course, but almost always works to demonstrate the technique. We watch the trees grow and continue this growth demonstrating not only the wonder of dendrite at work, but also explaining how continued moisture is undesirable on our actual work.

White background mocha mugs
Finished Mocha Mugs with White Slip Background

Vic Duffhues has been using this technique for many decades. Yet even with all that experience, he’s not always guaranteed the results he’d like. Now he chooses to exercise this form of decoration only in the early spring, when drying conditions are most easily controlled. The result is that we never have enough mocha pieces and there is always a demand by collectors.

They truly are gorgeous mugs and tumblers and we joke that these are the fastest growing trees in British Columbia.

Layering Glazes at JoVic Pottery

 

I once heard an elderly potter say “if I don’t like what I’m getting, I just fire it again.” That was not easy before potters began to fire pottery in electric kilns. In fact, those extra firings often resulted in pots for the yard, if not the garbage can.

Disappointing Glaze #1
Disappointing Twisted Sister # 1 at Mature Temperature

Firing pottery at Cone 6 in an electric kiln (in oxidation) wasn’t exciting in the past either. Potters often frowned upon the results, and those with gas or wood-fired kilns which make use of oxygen reduction to bring out the beauty of their glazes swore they would never switch to oxidation. You just could not get a lot of great color development unless you were using commercial glazes–or so it was believed. How could you get that great variation in glazes on your pots if you didn’t have the magic of the reduction fired atmosphere which helped add variety and depth and interest on just a single pot?

Refired Twisted Sister # 1
Delightful Result with Re-Fired Vase 1 “Twisted Sister”

But potters love to invent, whether it’s a new tool for their use in the studio, or a new glaze to put on their beloved pots. It seems much of the fun comes from experimenting. While there are still lots of potters quickly dipping their ware in buckets of glaze (and it’s admittedly much less expensive with so little waste), many of us are also using spray booths. This requires a good safe space to work with phenomenal ventilation. It also results in lots of waste of glaze chemicals. The upside, however, is that it enables a very even coating of glaze without the dreaded unintended drips marring the final surface finish.

Not that drips aren’t sometimes desired. But for a potter to be truly happy or excited, those drips need to be placed in such a way as to enhance the work. And since we’re firing in oxidation, and we’re spraying the glazes, well then why not look for ways to enhance color and texture by spraying different glazes onto a pot.

Bad Glaze Vase 2
Disappointing Vase #2 at Mature Temperature

Yes, there’s a lot of experimenting, and not just a few disappointments to contend with along the way. Each glaze causes reactions within the heat of that kiln, and some of those reactions aren’t just to the heat, but to the different glazes introduced.

Twisted Sister # 2 Beauty
Gorgeous Re-Fired Twisted Sister # 2

But back to the original statement, about firing again; it is now not just to salvage failure, we re-fire with intent. We increase the number of firings in order to bring about results we could not otherwise have with the typical bisque followed by one glaze fire. We don’t just add the exciting variety that potters formerly achieved with gas or wood-fired kilns: we have taken that to brand new heights. We don’t have to spray a pot evenly with just one color, we can use bits here and there, spraying gently, choosing a heavier application here and lighter one there.

After our initial bisque firing, we fire glazed pots at lower temperatures to ensure that the glazes adhere or you might say that they are baked on, usually at cone 04 somewhere in the neighborhood of 1900 ° F. Sometimes we add more glazes and again fire at that low temperature before finally firing our pots to maturity (or to a stoneware state)  at Cone 6, approximately 2200 ° F.  Some pots may have 3, 4, or even 5 firings before we decide they’re finished and ready to sell.

For a final finish, some of our pots are treated to a crawl glaze application, and this, too, is comical when we think about the former “taboo” of having a glaze crawl on our pottery.

Bisque Fire Glaze Load
Loading a Low Temp Fire in Electric Kiln

With electric oxidation firing, we can play to our heart’s content. We can introduce and generally control the crawl so that it enhances our work. And that’s true for our ash glaze applications as well. Ash glazes tend to run, but instead of worrying about the runs, we carefully introduce them just where we know they are likely to bring about some incredible beauty. The pots that in ages past relied on wood ash to create their glazes, well, I guess we’ve experimented and found ways of using them in an electric oxidation atmosphere.

Crawl Glazed Urn
Crawl Glaze Control on Beautiful Lidded Vessel

And just like that elderly potter, we’re happy to believe that we can even re-fire a pot that had previously reached stoneware maturity.

Wine Entertainment Set

JoVic Pottery’s Latest Kiln Delights

This last kiln load had us both smiling with glee. There are some gorgeous functional pieces, like the wine bricks and the tall stemmed goblets with crawl glaze decoration that take function to art and are absolutely perfect for entertaining special guests.

Crystalline & Layered Ash Glaze Bricks
Wine Bricks, Utensil Holders, or Vases–so functional, so decorative

Crystalline layered glazes with final ash glaze layers (Mt. St. Helen’s Ash actually), and fabulous tenmoku liner glazes on the interior which make the wine bricks not only functional, but allow them to become decorative vases or utensil holders.

Lidded Vessel with Ash Glazes
A beautiful Ginger Jar or Urn in Spring Shades $250.

And how delightful are large ginger jars with beautiful lids?

Urn with lid off
Lids are fired separately so that the rim of the pot is glazed too.

Should you want to use this beautiful jar as a vase, you might enjoy setting the lovely lid slightly to the front and side to give it an extra wow appearance.

Mt. St. Helen's Ash Lidded Pot
lidded pot with slip-combed decoration and layered glazes $125.

Also fresh from the kiln are two lovely lidded pots, again glazed with Mt. St. Helen’s ash layered over crystalline glazes. The similarity of these pieces comes from the skill of glaze applications–but slight tweaking of the process ensures that though the pots are alike, they remain unique.

Ash Glazed Lidded Jar
perhaps a perfect tea canister… $125.

Note the wonderful slip application–a treatment put onto the pots when they’re just slightly stiffened. Combing through the slip adds texture to the shoulders of the pots and also aids the “breaking” of glazes showing up color beneath the layers.

Vase in Blue and Green
Slip-Combed & Ash Glazed in Blues and Greens $125.

And the last vase here is a delight to hold and would be wonderful displayed with or without flowers. It, too, shows the benefit of slip-combed decoration which adds depth and texture. Engobes and crystalline glazes, sprayed over a period of several days to allow sufficient drying between applications adds so much visually and texturally. Come visit our studio in Ladysmith, BC on Vancouver Island to enjoy not only looking at, but touching and collecting work that brings art to function and function to art.