Artist Judith Burke works out of her Maple Ridge studio.

Artist Judith Burke works out of her Maple Ridge studio.

Ridge artist in Circle Craft show

Ceramics exhibition celebrates Vancouver gallery’s 40th anniversary

Maple Ridge’s Judith Burke joins six other ceramics artists at exhibition in Vancouver to celebrate the Circle Craft Cooperative Association’s 40th anniversary.

You’ll have until next week to catch the exhibition that features the work of Burke as well as Rachelle Chinnery, Mary Fox, Gordon Hutchens, Jeremy Hatch, Laurie Rolland, and Tanis Saxby.

Burke received a Bachelor of Arts in art history and a masters in painting from the University of California, Berkeley. She began studying ceramics in 1957 and has been making pottery professionally since the mid-1970s. Alongside creating functional stoneware, Burke sets aside time to experiment in other areas.

She uses a wheel as well as hand building to shape stoneware, porcelain, and terra-cotta. She then uses reduction or saggar firing.

Burke has received numerous awards for her work and has participated in many invitational shows. Her work is part of personal and international collections including the Shepparton Art Gallery in Australia and The World Ceramic Exposition in Korea.

She has been a member of Circle Craft Cooperative since 1982.

Rachelle Chinnery

Rachelle Chinnery makes large sculptural vessels and a line of hand-carved white porcelain. She has been making ceramic work for over 20 years now, 17 years after she learned how to pot in Japan. Her full-time practice began seven years ago when she moved to Hornby Island, BC.

Her carved work earned her the B.C. Creative Achievement Award in 2007. This work is in museums in Asia, Australia, and Europe.

Very recently, she finished her first large installation of sculptural work at the Campbell River Art Gallery.

Mary Fox

Mary Fox has worked as a professional potter in Canada since 1979. Her innovative creations have established her reputation as a dedicated and exacting craftsperson in her field.

Fox delights in the challenge of creating contemporary works based on classic lines. Beautiful form, exquisite balance, and a sense of contained energy are hallmarks of her work. Fox has received critical acclaim for her works that have been exhibited nationally and internationally in both exhibitions and galleries.

“My focus is on expressing the beauty and strength of pure form and then creating unique glazes that will enhance my vessels,” says Fox.

“For my decorative vessels I have developed glazes that can imbue my work with the look of unearthed antiquities. For my functional ware, I use glazes in a variety of solid colors designed with the user in mind.”

Jeremy Hatch

Jeremy Hatch has won many awards for his work and has exhibited around the world, including Canada and the US, as well as China, Japan, and Korea. Jeremy received his BFA from Emily Carr University and his MFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.

In one piece on display, hand-knit coat hangers are saturated with porcelain and fired, burning away the original yarn, becoming a fossilized trace of the original. What remains are fragile mementos of daily rituals and domestic activities. Objects that contain and evoke opposite notions at the same time: function and dysfunction, beauty and ugliness, creation and destruction, remembering and forgetting.

Gordon Hutchens

Gordon Hutchens first became intrigued with pottery at the age of 14 during a visit to Japan, watching potters at work and seeing the revered position of pottery in a culture.

Hutchens studio is nestled in 19 wooded acres in the secluded north end of Denman Island. For many years, Hutchens has operated his extensive studio here while exhibiting across Canada – from Halifax, Montreal, and Toronto to Vancouver and Victoria. He has also had over 25 one-man shows and over 70 group exhibitions across Canada and the US, with three major exhibitions in Japan.

Hutchens’ work is well known for the depth and diversity of his glazes and the strength and refinement of his forms. He produces a variety of work from sculptured to functional, and utilizes an extremely broad range of techniques.

“I’m attracted to variable glazes where subtle differences in the action of the flame can make a dramatic difference in the character of the glaze, where fire tells a story,” says Hutchens.

“I get excited by the power of heat, the way fire brings about the transformation, the metamorphosis of elements I’ve combined into something new.”

Laurie Rolland

Laurie Rolland of Sechelt has made her living as a potter since graduating with honours from Sheridan College of Ontario in 1978. She has worked almost exclusively in oxidation and is known for her unique hand-built vessels.

Her work has been recognized nationally through numerous grants and awards. She has exhibited nationally and internationally in juried and invitational exhibitions, winning awards in many of these. Rolland’s work can be seen in 17 published books on ceramics, and is in private, corporate, and public collections around the world. Rolland was elected to The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts in 2004.

“I make hand-built vessel forms that are inspired by the natural world around me,” Rolland says.

“My work is primarily non-functional and is fired in an electric kiln; the surfaces are highly textured and the colours are organic and earth based.”

Since 1991, Rolland has used the metaphor of the boat (vessel: container/ protector) as representing the human made cultural object.

“I integrate this with organic ‘grown’ forms or textures that are inspired by the natural world around me. The resulting object is an attempt to symbolically heal the conflict between nature and culture,” she adds.

Tanis Saxby

Tanis Saxby has exhibited across Canada and in France. She has won several awards and scholarships. In 2005, she did an international residency in ceramics in Vallauris, France.

Her education includes the Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, BC, an apprenticeship with a carver-stone sculptor on Salt Spring Island and the University of Victoria.

Working in porcelain and marble has been a mystery for me as it seems to teach me, as much as I shape it, says Saxby.

“Although I work in a series, I feel very curious and at the beginning again unravelling the mysteries of the next creation. In my sculptures, I am drawn to introduce the concepts of stillness, simplicity and sensuality as a contrast to our often complex, time driven culture.”

• “Turning Forty – The Art of Ceramics at Circle Craft” is at the Circle Craft Gallery on Granville Island (1 – 1666 Johnston Street, Vancouver) until Tuesday, April 9. Admission is free. The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.