Tag Archives: Garden Sculpture

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.

 

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

 

The Art and Garden Tour and JoVic Pottery

Vic's working outside

DSC_3820 DSC_3823 DSC_3829 DSC_3837 DSC_3838 DSC_3839 DSC_3841 DSC_3847 DSC_3851 DSC_3853 DSC_3854 DSC_3870 DSC_3874 DSC_3877DSC_3870It’s a truly special time of year at our studio, and not just because it’s such a pleasant time to work there once the cold and dark winter months are past, but because everything outside the studio also calls us. The garden and our amazing property provide ample inspiration, and not just a little bit of labor to our days–so thank goodness those are also a little longer as we head toward summer.

We have such an amazing yard, it simply bursts forth with life during the spring season. Trees and shrubs bloom magnificently, each year showing us their will to survive and grow. This past year saw us losing a few trees on this 3-acre patch of heaven on the outskirts of the town of Ladysmith on Vancouver Island. Like the rest of Canada, our season started much later than usual. We clearly didn’t get the massive amounts of snow that have continued to plague some parts of the country right into this usually lovely month of May, but we saw some truly chilly weather and suffered a few major wind storms. One of those trees nearly ended our wonderful Gunnera’s life. It’s coming back, but it’s so much smaller than the giant we’ve seen in previous years. It’s all coming back–a little later than usual, but more magnificent than ever.

All in all, our garden (with its quiet restful spots, its park-like areas, its rustic places and even its little memorial garden, and the tiny pond) provides us with wonder and inspiration. It suits our pottery and some of the sculpture that comes from what we see. It takes its character from this temperate coastal climate and from the ample rains of autumn and winter. It feeds birds and deer (and even some of the dreaded rabbits) and fills us with joy. Our garden is a home for wildlife and we hear the eagles kiri-ing overhead, or sometimes the raven with its amazing koo-koo-koo-koo (so lovely and different from the squawking of black birds). The hummingbirds visit the shrubs and the feeders. The raspberry finches and the quail add more to this natural beauty–yes and of course there are bees buzzing and butterflies fluttery by.

Spring is truly a magnificent time of year here, and our garden is to be celebrated. We’ve joined with some other artists in this area between Ladysmith and Chemainus just so that we can share the beauty. From June 1 to September 14 we’ll be willing to let visitors wander through not just our studios and galleries, but our gardens. So come out to the Ladysmith and District Art and Garden Tour--it’s a self-guided event–and enjoy and share in our inspiration here in the Warm Lands of Vancouver Island.

Garden Sculpture by Jo

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.

River of Serendipity

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.

Seredipity River by Jo Duffhues, Garden Sculpture
Using a good quality solar light with copper top.

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.

Garden Scupture Desert Rivers
Desert Rivers Garden Sculpture

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.

Lighted Garden Sculpture
Desert Rivers Night Shot

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.