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.
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.
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.
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 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.
And how delightful are large ginger jars with beautiful lids?
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.
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.
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.
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.
There’s some exciting new work coming out of the kilns at JoVic Pottery in Ladysmith, BC. Vic’s been experimenting with layered ash glazes, and has gone a bit beyond layering with engobes and 4 glazes, now going up to 6 glazes. The results are stupendous, and when combined with techniques that allow for the glazes to “break” on tactile surfaces, well, WOW. Here’s the most recent platter. I’m sure you’ll agree this one is beautiful!
Arts on the Avenue is just a few days away–this coming Sunday. This is the 16th or 17th (not sure) time this fabulous event will take place in Ladysmith. You can peruse some of the pictures taken last year by clicking on this link to the Gallery. You will, as always, find us there too. We try to make sure that every year has us bringing some of our newest work for this home-town street event.
This year’s line-up of artists is as terrific as ever, and we’re counting on the weather to cooperate and make this another fabulous day. But let me tell you about some of the fabulous pottery we’ll have ready for our collectors and new customers alike… better yet, let me show you.
The stoneware pot shown above is definitely one of my favorites to come out of the kiln this past week. Vic’s alligator finish, layered engobes and glazes, and the gorgeous form, all work together to invite the eye and hands to love this vase. Ah yes, this one is worth drooling over.
There are other gorgeous vases too… including the one shown right with a delicious fat bronze detail on the neck.
Of course we will have a series of gorgeous mugs, and some of them will have that fabulous layered alligator finish, but we also have a few with a new ash-glazed combination that is really stunning. The ash comes from the Mount Saint Helen’s eruption.
And there are some lovely tea lights coming out of the last few firings–they’re perfect for romantic dinners, relaxing atmospheres for that soothing bath, or just simple soft mood lighting.
We’re excited to continue to enjoy the beauty of our Vancouver Island home here in the Oyster Bay area of Ladysmith, BC. It’s a place that constantly provides inspiration–but come and see for yourself and discover why so many artists, artisans and talented crafts people make this place home.
There are some delicious new pots coming out of the kilns lately. We’re expecting to have quite a few more for Arts on the Avenue which is our annual Ladysmith event that allows us to visit with so many of our friends and neighbors. It’s an event just not to be missed, showcasing lots of great local artists as well as some super Artisan food creators.
I think you’ll especially love some of our new pots. Their texture is superb.
The Wonderful Annual Cedar and Yellow Point Artisan Christmas Tour is just a couple of days away. The studio is buzzing with activity. Some of the work that will be out on the shelves is cooling now and will be out of the kiln today. Vic’s amazing alligator-glazed functional and decorative stoneware will fill our showroom with everything from mugs and vases to casseroles.
Jo’s new series, “Quilting on Clay” is truly exciting. Using under glazes on stoneware clay when it’s bone dry can be a little nerve-wracking. As long as clay has not been contaminated or fired, it can usually be re-claimed. However, once I start adding those under glazes, I’m committed to getting it right or tossing it out.
If the work only took an hour or so, that would not be a real problem. But these pieces can take up to two full days to paint.
It’s my love of quilting and needlepoint, both former hobbies that I no longer have time for, that inspire this creative line. I can remember spending time years ago searching fabrics that complimented my choices for making a quilt. When I do this work with clay, I don’t have to choose the fabric designed by others, I get to create the look of my own fabrics while I design the quilt I have in mind.
The work is moving from forms with folk-art painterly fabric approaches to more traditional quilt backgrounds and even to backgrounds with the feel of a final applique design. It’s truly fun.
While not all the work has come out of the kiln yet, I’m delighted with the final results I’m seeing on some of the finished trays now.
I’m sure the tour visitors will enjoy the splashes of color from the truly exciting new pieces. There will also be a great selection of the award-winning modern art stoneware with goblets and trays and more available for people wanting to select really special hand-made gifts that will become treasured favorites this Christmas.
The Cedar and Yellow Point Tour starts on Thursday, November 21st and ends at 4:00 pm on Sunday, November 24th. We’ll be open from 10 – 5 throughout the tour and will have Carol’s Wreathes for Haven House as well as our usual refreshments.
We’re truly looking forward to seeing lots of visitors at our Ladysmith, Vancouver Island Studio. We’re offering 20% off the ticketed price of our gorgeous raku vessels for this Holiday Season. We also have a great selection of clearance pottery and that will be marked down by 50%. It’s a chance for our customers to get a truly great deal on some of the work and will make some room in the studio for the new ideas and creations we’ll want to pursue next year. It’s the 25th year of this remarkable tour and we’ll have maps to guide our visitors to some of the fine local artists in our beautiful area.
This weekend will be a very busy one for us. I’m going to be at a wine tour displaying some of our wonderful wine bricks, goblets and so forth. It’s a two-day wine tour event at Rocky Creek Winery running from 10 until 4 PM both Saturday and Sunday. This is an award winning winery, offering an amazing selection from whites through to full-bodied red wines and assorted sauces. Rocky Creek Winery is located in the Cowichan Valley at 1854 Myhrest Rd. Cowichan Bay, BC, V0R 1N1, (ph. 250-748-5622). It’s in what is often called the warm land, and it’s proving to be excellent award-winning wine country.
The timing is tricky for us. Vic has a huge order due for Alaska by the end of this month. He’s also acting in the Norm Foster play, running at the Ladysmith Little Theatre until September 29th. You can order tickets on line for this hilarious play.
But back to our wonderful pottery. Vic and I have both created some terrific sets for wine lovers, and they’re sure to make wonderful gifts for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, weddings and just about any other special occasion you can think of. All our functional stoneware pottery is lead-free and carefully tested for safety from any potential mineral leeching; it’s dishwasher safe, microwave safe (so nice to know for those hot toddies we’re going to enjoy in the cooler weather), it can be placed in the freezer empty to aid in keeping cold beverages frosty, and it adds beauty to any table.
My pieces are part of the “modern art” series I’ve been enjoying so much (despite neck cramps). Vic’s beautiful pieces are part of his alligator series. The wine bricks are amazing. With these beauties you can keep wine chilled without having to add ice to a bucket; just place the empty wine brick in a freezer and when you’re ready to use it, you’ll find it keeps that white wine chilled without the messy drips of the usual ice bucket approach. Of course you can always use these lovely bricks as utensil holders so that they’re a gorgeous addition to your kitchen counter.
Both lines of work require a tremendous amount of labor. Vic’s work requires multiple glaze firings allowing for both texture and depth in the layered glazes. Mine require oodles of time “painting” on the underglazes. Admittedly all a labor of love.
Be sure to come and enjoy the wine tour on what promises to be another beautiful weekend on Vancouver Island. The sun is shining, and September’s warmth is an added summer bonus for us.
Our studio will also be open from 11:00 to 4:00 on Saturday and from 10:00 until 2:00 PM this Sunday.
Lately, I’ve been dreaming brilliant colours. There are two distinct drives working their way through my dreams. First up, I’ve been wanting to get back to some folk-art painting. I realize that the hours spent glaze-painting one single pot really do little to add to our income. However, I also know that if I don’t follow through on this kind of drive, my creativity will dry up altogether and I won’t be able to work in clay at all.
This has made me think about earning a living as an artist. Why is it that a painting fetches so much more money than a clay vessel that has been painted with glaze? It takes me far longer to paint with glazes on pottery than it ever took to do an acrylic or watercolour painting. That being said, I’m finally able to console myself by remembering that the painting side of this is truly actually my creative hobby. The clay end is what I do for a living. I’m able to combine the two. Perhaps someday these special pieces will earn someone a profit. Isn’t it so often true that the artist has to die before value is attached to the work?
But back to the two drives…. The second push coming my way feels somewhat retro. My first piece in this series made me think of Piet Mondriaan. It was after doing the “painting” on that piece that I found myself “googling” Mondriaan, and I realized that the work I’m doing is far more colourful. So what was that influence. Perhaps it’s what comes from having been one of those teens in the 1960’s. Perhaps it’s pop-art. Whatever it is, I must say that it’s all painstakingly slow work and has caused some major stress to my neck. However, even when I can feel the neck muscles cramping, the lactic acid bumps building, I’m unable to walk away. I keep working on and on.
I totally love the results of my colourful phase in clay,whether applied to wheel-thrown work or my slab-ware. I’m hoping our customers will be equally delighted. I’m using a clear over-glaze sprayed onto the work. It results in a shiny surface that is totally pleasing to the touch and absolutely delicious to see. It must be said, though, clear shiny glazes are probably the most difficult to photograph. These items are best seen in person.
The brilliant colours I’m using come from commercial under-glazes. As always, our own glazes are completely safe for use with all foods and beverages, and the commercial under-glazes are also safe, derived via fritting. All these pieces are dishwasher safe as well.
Vic’s been busy getting ready to bring some of our latest pottery to the Gallery of BC Ceramics. That’s the showcase location for the finest pottery by members of the Potters Guild of British Columbia.
There’s quite a process to go through for acceptance into this gallery, including an application with answers to questions about Intent and Design, Process, Clay Body, Method of Work, Originality and so on.
In addition, you also have to provide a series of photographs of a “cohesive” body of your work, and of course an Artist Statement, and a Biography. For this application, we’ve chosen to enter pieces from the Alligator Textured Glaze Series.
By the time you’ve hit your 60’s that biography truly needs a little work, otherwise you’d be turning in a book. However, it’s been a good process and we’ve had to select 5 pieces to bring to the Gallery at Granville Island in Vancouver on Tuesday, June 4th. They’re already selling some of our work, but we hope to have much more available for all the people who love to collect it, but cannot always make it over to Ladysmith, Vancouver Island to visit our studio in person.
I hope you’re as excited about some of these pieces as we are.
Vic opened and unloaded the kiln this morning, and he was truly happy with the results of his work. I’ve been telling you a little about the process, but here you get to see the final results of our multiple firing and layered glaze techniques.
These are all stoneware vessels: jugs, vases, pitchers, and ginger jars. All have glossy interior surfaces which fuse with the clay and ensure food and beverage or water safety. In other words they won’t leak or allow liquids to cause bacterial invasion of the glazes.
Of course we always run a computer analysis of our glazes to ensure safety for our customers. However, with these beautiful multiple fired glazes, we can enjoy adding texture by fusing a reticulating glaze (that is a glaze that shrinks and dries leaving crevasses or fine spaces depending upon our application) with engobes and matt glazes that have already been fired onto the pieces at a lower temperature.
It does mean more firings than the usual two, a bisque and glaze being the norm. These pieces generally undergo at least two low temperature firings before being placed in the kiln at a higher glaze temperature firing.
I don’t have pictures of everything that came out of today’s kiln, but I can assure you that they make a visit to our Vancouver Island studio here in Ladysmith, BC well worth the time. With tourism season underway, we’re hoping to please quite a few new visitors this summer. It’s the perfect time to see the splendor of Vancouver Island with it’s wonderful botanic beauty… and perhaps time to purchase an amazing vase to fill with some of our flowers.
After several years of operating our online shop, we have discovered that it is far easier to handle customer requests more personally and are happy to manage orders following email and telephone contact with clients.
There are numerous reasons for this change. Most important of all is that it allows us greater creative freedom. As Vic puts it: “you cannot go to a GM dealership and expect to purchase a ’57 Chev.” That may seem like a stretch, but the fact is that we are constantly exploring and as a result, our work is always changing. Having a shopping cart on our site restricts us to a continuous production of items we must then have in stock. We are artists and do not operate a factory, so this goes against everything we strive for in our creation of beautiful functional and decorative stoneware and raku pottery and art.
Our collectors can always ask us to create something using a former glaze or pattern. We will do our best to meet such a request. However, mines change, clay and glaze ingredients change, standards change, and our work also changes.
We will continue to post images of our latest works on our website, and will attempt to provide our internet browsing customers with a price before taxes and shipping. If an item seem and requested has already sold, we’ll do our best to provide a similar item, exchanging emails with photographs to ensure agreement.
Our second reason for discontinuing the shopping cart feature on our site stems from the fact that that the cost calculated by the Plugins required for this online shop is, in our opinion, exorbitant as well as labor intensive. We must measure and weigh each item before we can even post an image. We must commit to specific cartons and packaging. It all boils down to a great deal of extra work before an item is even sold.
As Venture Card holders with Canada Post, we’re able to provide an excellent service which is far less cumbersome at our end when it comes to packing and shipping and is also more reasonable for our customers. We’ve been very successful shipping stoneware and even raku pottery around the world and we enjoy working with the staff at our local postal office.
Your interest in any of our work is always appreciated, and should you see something you think you’d like, we welcome an email to get things started. We will happily respond with photos and specifics to ensure your continued pleasure in our work. We will always welcome personal contact, and for those of you hoping to acquire our special dinnerware, we will always recommend a studio visit. That said, we will continue to ship our work to our collectors and welcome new customers.
I’m really enjoying the latest work that is slowly (maybe too slowly for me) coming out. Garden sculpture has been something I’ve done bits of here and there, some small, some larger. But I’m into a new series that I’m so excited about. The ideas are just racing through my mind. Anyway, the first of this series is now in my yard.
My first top was a copper post cap. But then I thought it would be so much nicer if the sculpture showed up at night as well.
The sculpture is embedded into the garden on a good stake. Depending on size and location, such as for example, the end of a driveway, these sculptures can be placed using a post-hole digger and concrete, or the metal stakes available at Home Depot with have a 6″ sleeve that is tightened around the column. This particular piece was inspired by a view of Oyster Bay in a section narrow enough to resemble a river.
I’m delighted that I have the chance to add these to my own garden and property first… I can call it an opportunity to test out my product and work out the ideas. The real truth, however, is that I’m just so happy to have these sculptures myself. I’ve ordered and am impatiently awaiting the arrived of polished sea glass and polished stones to add into the construction of some others.
If you’re on the island, or live in the area, I hope you’ll come and see them too. I can hardly wait to place a few at the end of the driveway.
I’ve finished the installation of the 2nd Garden Sculpture in this new river series. This one is called Desert Rivers.
Stones installed on this sculpture were all gathered on the shores of the beaches of North Oyster here in Ladysmith. I’ve used iron oxide and granular ilmanite in the tile adhesive to add to the colorful effect. Once again, I used a large garden stake driven into the soil to hold this sculpture, and yes, this one also has a solar light… we call them faery lights when we see how lovely they appear in the evening.
If you have any questions about these sculptures or are interested in purchasing one for your garden, they range in price from $650 up, depending on the materials used. Feel free to inquire, and I’ll be glad to work with you.
As an artist, I find myself periodically returning to further develop themes begun during previous periods of inspiration. I can’t seem to just “make” things to order, at least not when they are one-of-a-kind items, albeit themed. I suppose it’s no different than what a landscape painter experiences. The subject might be the same, but it requires fresh inspiration, and ever-developing skills and techniques to bring something new to the work. It has perhaps been 15 years since I last worked on raku village scenes. They take such a great deal of time that they truly need to be made for the sheer joy of the work and creativity involved.
Each of these village wall scenes takes a couple of days to create. That of course is only the beginning.
I feel as though I get lost in the scene I`m creating. My hands, my thoughts, everything just becomes one with the clay as I process my ideas.
Once they`re made, they need an extensive drying period. I can temporarily let go of them, even get on with other things, allowing other creative ideas to flow. But when they come out of the kiln after that first firing, I need to get back into them again. It usually takes another couple of days for each of them to get glaze treatments. I manage to work on them for a few hours, put them aside, come back to them again, and so on. This latest series of 4 village scenes is vibrating with color, being treated to underglazes before getting a final glaze coating.
Once the underglaze is applied, it`s time for the final glaze coating to be sprayed on before the raku firing can take place.
So far I`ve only managed to completely finish one of the four made for this series. I can hardly wait to get the rest through.
These are some of the latest vases. They are 14 inches tall, fired in cone 6 oxidation, have engobes and layered glazes, such as alligator or lizard skin, feldspar drool, and have needed multiple firings. They are priced to sell at $325. each.