NOVA SCOTIA POTTERS GUILD HISTORY • 1991—PRESENT
The Nova Scotia Potters Guild has been a vibrant and valued part of our provincial arts community since 1991. The Guild was formed by an enthusiastic group of potters who wanted to learn and teach and enjoy one another’s company. We are all about education and support for anyone in the province working in clay. The Guild supports work from production to one-of-a-kind; covers topics from artistic and technical support to business operation; and opens the channels for sharing information. Our members, now 95 in number, cover a wide range of profiles from internationally recognized ceramic artists to those who are just beginning to work with clay. We share our news and skills through meetings, workshops and our newsletter, The Dish.
Throughout our history, we have initiated exhibitions throughout the province in all categories – open, juried and curated. They have been presented in public, private and commercial galleries, including the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia and our public gallery for craft, the Mary E. Black Gallery. Shaping Space, a celebration of Lantz Clay was presented in 2009 at the Mary E. Black Gallery and a catalogue was produced to document the project. The Guild Show - Work by the NS Potters Guild was displayed at the Craig Gallery in Dartmouth in 2005. Lieutenant-Governor Myra Freeman hosted the Guild’s Crowning Achievements exhibit at Government House in 2004–2005. In 1996, The Year of Earth and Fire, the Guild organized numerous displays, sales, public hands-on workshops and clay related events in collaboration with business, government and other organizations. Exhibitions included: From the Ground Up (opened at Mary E. Black Gallery and travelled around the Province); Metre2: The Art of Tile (Dartmouth Heritage Museum); An Invitation to Dinner – Contemporary Nova Scotia Dinnerware (Dartmouth Heritage Museum); and Potters of Our Past (Art Gallery of Nova Scotia). Ceramics Monthly Magazine covered these shows at the Dartmouth Heritage Museum.
Excellent workshops have been presented by Guild members who have generously shared their expertise. The Guild has also worked with the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University’s Ceramics Department to bring nationally and internationally known ceramists to Halifax. Our workshops have dealt with raku, gas, wood and smoke firings, mould making, big pots, photographing techniques and health concerns. Some of the well recognized artists who have instructed the Guild are: Les Manning, Jim Robison, Robin Hopper, Cathi Jefferson, Randy Brodnax and Joan Bruneau.
The Guild continues to encourage the creation of fine ceramic work, to build awareness among the public of the value of this work, and to offer clay artists resources to strengthen their art form and to grow as artists.