Christmas Sale 2018
UHLICK
POTTERY & TILE


Christmas Sale
2018



Dear Friends,

The Uhlick Pottery & Tile Christmas Sale will be on December 1st and 2nd this year and if necessary there will be a Storm Sale on the following weekend. There will be a good selection of pottery at this Sale. Over the next weeks, the Uhlick Pottery and Tile Facebook page will have previews of new pots as they are unloaded from the three firings that will be done this year. There will be quite a few casseroles and teapots, cream and sugars and some other shapes that I didn't have at the spring sale. There will be porcelain and stoneware yunomis, stoneware mixing bowls, square plates, pitchers and a slightly bigger version of my butter dishes among the vases, plates and mugs that I make for every sale.

This is a biggish anniversary for me, since it's the 40th Uhlick Pottery Christmas sale. My first sale invitations were postcards from museums that I'd collected and I had a rubber stamp made with the address for the sale. 9324-86 Ave... I sent out about 30 cards. There has been quite a change over the 40 years. There were some invitations that my friend Dirk Van Wyk designed for me, then we made pottery postcards for awhile by taking actual printed photographs to the printer and except for the date the text was the same every sale. Then we changed to a photo on the front of a card when I needed more space to blather on about a glaze or something that seemed important to me. Layout and photos are more complicated now but I am learning to do it myself. Now the mailing list has over 600 names! Many of you are telling me you would prefer email to paper and I would like to accommodate that wish and over time, move any mailings to an electronic format. Please, especially if you haven't been coming to my Sales for a few years, email me at samuhlick@gmail.com if you wish to keep receiving these invitations.
I won't send many emails and there will be the option to opt out of the list. Some other changes this year and next involve the help of my son in law Ryan Parker who will be updating my website. Check for new photos and even video on the website and on Facebook before the sale and in the coming months.

My old website was designed and built and is maintained by my old friend Jim Speers. Jim, I canít thank you enough for all of your help all of these past 20+ years. With the new format Iíll be able to do my own updates and wonít need to pester you so much. I hope to see you all at this yearís Christmas Sale and if you can't make it please make sure that I do have your email!

Peace and Happy Holidays,

Sam Uhlick




How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for the UHLICK sign on the left.

"Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.




53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery & Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery



My 65th year

This has been a good and productive year for me even though things didn't go exactly the way that Pat and I expected.

I began my new Kiln construction in mid-July thinking that a month would be plenty of time for my project... I can say that I was very wrong about that estimate. Like I have been wrong about so many of my estimates. A friendís advice many years ago was to make your best estimate for time and cost, double it and then add 10 percent. Even that isn't enough for bridge construction in the city of Edmonton but it might be enough for me to complete my kiln, I will find out next Summer. I started out having to move all of my 18 lb firebricks from 20-year-old rotten pallets onto new pallets that I could then move with my tractor. This was a great workout for an old man and I didn't need a personal trainer. I moved a total of 30,000 pounds of brick. Before I could start to lay out my kiln I had a brick saw to repair and kiln pad to re-organize. The best thing about being 65 is that I have no pressure or deadlines for completing this kiln. I already have a kiln. This new kiln is gravy and will be fun to fire when it is finished.

In June Pat and I were able to visit my old friend Nicole Cleriot in France. But our plan to hike the North Boundary trail in August was thwarted by smoke and dangerously high water at some stream crossings. So instead of 12 days of hiking 172 kms that we had planned we ended up doing two shorter backpacking trips instead, and we still managed 9 days of hiking and 170 kms. When we visited the Adolphus Patrol Cabin in Jasper National Park we read this poem on a panel over the door, written by RCMP officer Sydney Montague over 100 years ago:

This Moment is my Life

Here on the dust of countless ages past, I stand, this moment is my Life. All the past is but a memory, therefore the future is only hope. Amid the towering peaks so cold, serene and high, life is eternal. The roaring rivers at my feet, the sun the moon, the stars, the sky. I am a part of all this universe, I am tomorrowís dust. Here on the dust of countless ages past, I stand, this moment is my life.

There is nothing better than walking in the mountains. But I also enjoyed every day this summer that I was laying bricks and I am looking forward to doing it again next Summer.





Spring Sale 2018





Dear Friends,

Spring is really here now, the frogs are singing at night and we hear the dawn chorus of birdsong. The air is sweet with the sounds and feel of Spring. The leaves are popping out today too (May 6th). Although Spring was a little late this year the Uhlick Pottery Spring Sale will be a week earlier than usual, on May 26th and 27th.I had my 65th birthday on April 28th and I have now become officially Old. Old Sam ... This is a good thing. For my whole lifetime I have had trouble remembering people's names and dates. So now at least I will have an excuse. I'm just old. So this will be a special Sale, with quite a few fluted porcelain bowls and yunomis. And since I am now a senior citizen, and would like to celebrate this achievement, there will be some special treats including a door prize and some gifts and special offers.
This will be a busy Summer with my special project (building a new kiln) and Pat and I have booked our campsites on the North Boundary trail in Jasper, a hike that has been my goal for the past 5 years.
Best wishes to all of you and I hope to see many of you at this Spring Sale.


I have posted a few videos on YouTube (search for Sam Uhlick Pottery). And if you would like a preview of some of the pottery that will be available at the sale, please "Like" the Uhlick Pottery & Tile Facebook page. You can see this page without being a member of Facebook.

You are welcome to visit the workshop between sales; please call ahead 780-922-5061 to be sure that I am home. My work is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery in Edmonton www.albertacraft.ab.ca and there is an ACC gallery in Calgary now too. My pottery can also be found in a lovely small gallery in Black Diamond, Alberta: Bluerock Gallery, www.bluerockgallery.ca.




How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for the UHLICK sign on the left.

"Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.




53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery & Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery



Art and Ordinary Pots

Every once in awhile someone will ask me if I am going to spread my wings and try something New. And I suppose they mean something more "artistic." But the pots that I make are, to me important, they are not just bowls. Plates. Cups.

In Japan, some ordinary bowls were originally used in the tea ceremony and are now national treasures. These pots were prized for their accidental beauty in all of their imperfections. This aesthetic and my early experience in Japan, in 1972, had a profound influence on me. There is a book about the Japanese tea ceremony and its history written in 1906 by Kakuzo Okakura. The Book of Tea gives an insight into this Japanese art. In the opening paragraph Okakura says this, "Teaism is a cult founded on the adoration of the beautiful among the sordid facts of everyday existence. It inculcates purity and harmony, the mystery of mutual charity, the romanticism of the social order. It is essentially a worship of the Imperfect, as it is a tender attempt to accomplish something possible in this impossible thing we know as life".

This respect for ordinary things, bowls, handmade sweaters, baskets, has been fundamental to my life's work. My "Art", for whatever it's worth, is in my bowls and plates, my cups and ordinary pots. This is what I do and I have made my pottery with this intention and respect for 47 years. There is not a lot of technical skill in making a bowl. But there are infinite modulations in its shape and glaze, colour and decoration. This subtlety is what keeps me working as a potter and making "ordinary" pots.

-- Sam


Christmas Sale 2017
UHLICK POTTERY & TILE


CHRISTMAS SALE 2017

Dec. 2nd and 3rd
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
53123 Range Road 214, Ardrossan



Dear Friends,

The Christmas 2017 Workshop sale will be on December 2nd and 3rd this year and if necessary there will be a Storm Sale on the following weekend. I have made some new and old pottery shapes for this sale. Some double condiment pots which I haven't made for more than 10 years I think, slightly larger lidded bowls and some 1 1/2 lb. and 2 1/4 lb. casseroles that are more shallow than I usually make them. I made a few sets of mixing bowls for the first time in awhile too and nut bowls of various sizes. There will be a good selection of pottery for this Christmas sale. I hope to see you all on the first weekend in December and if not, I wish you all Peace and Joy this Holiday season.



I have posted a few videos on YouTube (search for Sam Uhlick Pottery). And if you would like a preview of some of the pottery that will be available at the sale, please "like" the Uhlick Pottery & Tile Facebook page.

Customers are welcome at the workshop between sales; please call ahead (780-922-5061) to be sure that I am home. Uhlick pottery is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (www.albertacraft.ab.ca) in Edmonton. It can also be found at Bluerock Gallery (www.bluerockgallery.ca) in Black Diamond, Alberta.




How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for the UHLICK sign on the left.
"Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.



53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery & Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery



Time, Tractors and Pottery Kilns

I have been thinking these days about time and how quickly it passes, and how I want to spend my time as it becomes more precious. We can measure time by the lives of our children and grandchildren, with milestones marked by travel and with time spent with friends. It seems to me that when I am doing creative work or making and building something that my experience of time is more intense, and I can measure it with what I have made and see that it has been satisfyingly spent. Time spent where I am not making something (for example on the internet!) seems to vanish. Over the years my creative work has been more than just making pottery, it has been building my workshop and machinery and repairing things too. Keeping my old tractors running has been part of this work that I used to enjoy. However I have spent many hours fixing leaking hydraulic hoses only to have a different hose or seal start leaking almost immediately. This is one of the things that I no longer want to spend time working on, (along with spending less time on the computer). I am approaching a milestone in my life, next Spring I will be 65 years old. I haven't looked more forward to a birthday since I turned 18. And as an early birthday gift to myself I am buying a new Kubota tractor. This new tractor will give me a gift of time, that I hope to put to the best use, for me, of making and building.

If I am really lucky I will never actually retire. I have spent my life trying to make functional pottery that is beautiful to me. It seems to be beautiful to other people too and I am very grateful to all you who have bought my work and allowed me to continue making pottery. I like to tell people of my friend Paul Ryan's Freedom 72 retirement plan that I have adopted: 72 hours before my funeral is when I will retire.

One way I do want to spend my time is by building another kiln. I have had this plan for years (but everything seems to take me longer). This August and September I was able to build the kiln shed roof. There is an old saying that "Men make plans and the Gods Laugh" but I will risk stating that if all goes according to my plans I should be able to build my kiln next Summer in my 65th year. Do I hear the Gods laughing?

Best wishes, Sam.

Spring Sale 2017
UHLICK POTTERY & TILE


SPRING SALE 2017

May 27 and 28th
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
53123 Range Road 214, Ardrossan



Dear Friends,

The Uhlick Pottery Spring Sale will be on May 27 and 28th. I have been more productive this year than I have been for quite awhile and if the results of my first firing are an indication there will be some very nice pots at this sale. Please check out the Uhlick Pottery & Tile Facebook page to see photos of some of the latest fired pots. I will have quite a few plates this time as well as another 30 lb bowl (21 inches across).

This Spring I will also have one particular pot that I haven't made for about 30 years. At the Christmas Sale I was reminded of the lidded bowls I made so long ago in our old workshop in Bonnie Doon. These were bowls that I saw during my first visit to Japan when I was 19 years old. They were used for donburi, a rice dish and the lid became a dish for pickles. Anyone who has been to Japan has seen some version of these bowls. Over the years I have made pots in many forms for many uses, some that you will see at every sale, and others that are more seldom seen. It was fun to be reminded of the donburi bowls and to make them again. I made 10 of these covered bowls, which are rather time consuming, but I do like them and will make more of them for the Christmas sale.

You will notice something sadly missing at the pottery now, in February my old dog Pepper died. We got her in 2005 when our first black dog Mishka died. Pepper was a shy dog, too timid to herd sheep as she was meant to do, which was why we rescued her when she was about a year old. She was a good dog, and could be silent as a shadow, slipping out the door behind you without even noticing her. She loved to put her head against my knees in the morning for a good rub. She loved Antonia and kept her company when she was sick and lately she loved the walks that Pat would take her on. We miss Pepper and we hope she has gone to the happy squirrel chasing ground in the sky.

One of the best things about my sale is seeing and talking to all of you who take the trouble to come! I am so grateful for the support that I and my family have had all of these years. The only sad thing about my sales is never getting enough time to talk to all of you as much as I would like. When it's busy I have to write orders as well as chat about Life and Art. If you have a question or a request for me, I would love to talk to you. If it's too busy during the sale please call me afterwards and you can always send me an email.

Best wishes, -- Sam



How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for the UHLICK sign on the left.
"Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.



53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery & Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery





If you are curious about how some pots are made, I have posted a few videos on YouTube. You can find them by searching for Sam Uhlick Pottery on YouTube. And if you would like a preview of some of the pottery that will be available at the sale, please "like" the Uhlick Pottery & Tile Facebook page.

Customers are welcome at the workshop between sales; please call ahead (780-922-5061) to be sure that I am home. Uhlick pottery is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (www.albertacraft.ab.ca) in Edmonton. It can also be found at Bluerock Gallery (www.bluerockgallery.ca) in Black Diamond, Alberta.



Christmas Sale 2016
UHLICK POTTERY & TILE


CHRISTMAS SALE 2016

December 3rd and 4th
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
53123 Range Road 214, Ardrossan



Dear Friends,

The Christmas Sale for 2016 will be on December 3rd and 4th. There will be quite a few beautiful pots if the first firing is an indication of the next two. The Shino glaze has turned out especially well and the copper red is perfect. I have made some small porcelain yunomis and sake cups that were also in the first firing. Given the events of the American election, the image of a bull in a china shop comes to mind. Pottery is fragile but it is also the most enduring and the most ancient of the arts - and it might be an act of faith in our future to buy it now. It is meant to be used in spite of its fragility. The warmth we feel when we use something that is handmade is the result of the love and skill that the Artist/Craftsman puts into that pot, a little piece of their life.

This has been a good year for me and for my family. My grandchildren are growing more accomplished and beautiful every day. This past summer went by so quickly with many beautiful days and evening meals outside on the patio. There was enough rain and sun for the garden and it was productive in spite of the weeds (200 lbs of tomatoes from 7 plants and 500 bulbs of garlic). Pat and I went camping with Anna and Jeremy and their children and we also had two backpacking trips that were perfect in every way. We had sunny days in Willmore Wilderness Park in Alberta and more unexpectedly sunny days at Berg Lake in Mt. Robson Provincial Park in B.C.

I was productive in my work as well. I have been making functional pottery for more than 40 years and there has been both progress and setback during that time. There is still learning and improvement, I like to think, in the quality of my work. I love the process of making pottery. The mixing clay and throwing, the rows of freshly thrown glistening pots as soft as jelly, the sharpening of tools and trimming as they harden, the rhythm of pulling handles and throwing knobs, the command and sometimes urgency of drying clay. The kiln loading this year has so far been a treat because of the weather! I think the first warm days of loading for a Christmas sale in my memory.

This year I will have completed 8 firings, one more than last year. I have been trying to get back to my old level of productivity and I have been partly successful. There is a Work / Chaos ratio that is necessary for this productivity and I feel that I am getting back to that equilibrium. I hope that I will see many of you at this 38th Christmas Sale and if not, Best wishes for Happy Holidays and a not too exciting New Year.

Sam Uhlick



How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for the UHLICK sign on the left.
"Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.



53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery & Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery





If you are curious about how some pots are made, I have posted a few videos on YouTube. You can find them by searching for Sam Uhlick Pottery on YouTube. And if you would like a preview of some of the pottery that will be available at the sale, please "like" the Uhlick Pottery & Tile Facebook page.

Customers are welcome at the workshop between sales; please call ahead (780-922-5061) to be sure that I am home. Uhlick pottery is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (www.albertacraft.ab.ca) in Edmonton. It can also be found at Bluerock Gallery (www.bluerockgallery.ca) in Black Diamond, Alberta.



Spring Sale 2016
UHLICK POTTERY & TILE


SPRING SALE 2016

May 28th and 29th
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
53123 Range Road 214, Ardrossan



How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for a bus shelter on the left and a sign with the name Uhlick. "Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.



53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery and Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery



Dear Friends,

You are invited to the Uhlick Pottery Spring Sale on May 28th and 29th. The velocity of time increases as we get older. I'm not the only one who has noticed this. A mathematician told me that the formula for calculating this phenomenon would be similar to the calculation for the speed of a falling object. I don't know how far I am from the ground but I feel like I'm going really fast.

One of my favourite times of the year for making pottery is in January and February when I have a nice warm studio and windows looking out on the snowy yard. At the start of the year I have lots of time to make pots for the Spring Sale. This year I spent the first 6 weeks making plates and bowls and there is time for other projects too, organizing, reading, skiing, hiking and a nap after lunch. Then March rolls around and I start thinking about the Spring Sale and Time starts to accelerate with the making of teapots, mugs and covered jars. By the time it's April I have to finish orders and make a firing schedule. I pick the sale dates and count the pottery to calculate how many firings I'll need to do. Then I work back from my sale dates to decide when the first firing needs to be loaded.

I switch into high gear to make the last few pots and have another look at my order book. I can sometimes squeeze out a couple of pots while I'm glazing and decorating the pottery for the first load. And at this stage I'm working as hard as I can and Time is flying by. As I get older I notice that I'm just as efficient as I used to be, but I'm not as productive! I used to throw 200 mugs on my kickwheel in a day. Now my back and leg gets tired when I throw 100, it still takes me the same time to throw a mug (about 2 minutes) but there seem to be other things in the day that are important for me to do. Finishing other pots and reading and a nap.

In spite of this I will have 5 firings completed by Sale day and I have been in high gear for the last few weeks as I write this. I will have 2 cup teapots for the first time in 3 years, and sets of covered jars .

I have several things to be thankful for this year. A new grandson Sebastian Samuel was born on February 7th to make Anna and Jeremy the happy parents of two. That makes 3 grandchildren for me and the joy that these beautiful children bring continues to enrich our family. My partner Pat and I are making plans for hiking and backpacking this Summer. Pat is retiring from Parks Canada after 33 years and for the first time will have the whole summer off. I feel lucky to be sharing my life with her.

I hope that I will see many of you at the sale.

Best wishes,.
Sam Uhlick





Customers are welcome at the workshop between sales; please call ahead (780-922-5061) to be sure that I am home. Uhlick pottery is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (www.albertacraft.ab.ca) in Edmonton. It can also be found at Bluerock Gallery (www.bluerockgallery.ca) in Black Diamond, Alberta.



CHRISTMAS Sale 2015
UHLICK POTTERY & TILE


CHRISTMAS SALE 2015

November 28th and 29th
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
53123 Range Road 214, Ardrossan



How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for a bus shelter on the left and a sign with the name Uhlick. "Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.



53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery and Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery



Dear Friends,

You are invited on November 28th and 29th to the Uhlick Pottery and Tile 36th Annual Christmas Sale. My first Sale was 37 years ago on December 17, 1978.

This has been a year of steady progress. Though things donít go as fast as they once did, I am finishing this year feeling positive about my work and life. I will have a good supply of most pottery at this Christmas Sale but there will be some items that I didnít get a chance to make. I will have however 4 sizes of casseroles and there will be lots of copper red mugs and bowls. I have some new glaze combinations and there are always some very special pots at a sale. This Christmas there are perhaps more of these show pots than usual, some pots that Iíve put aside over the past few years and two very special large bowls that were in a show at the Alberta Craft Council this summer.

I have been working hard in the workshop this year and I find peace in my work. I have continued to take more time for hiking, biking and x-c skiing, often in the company of my friend Pat Dunn, who has joined her path to mine as friend and partner. Thank you, Pat.

There has been new joy in my life this year. My granddaughter Sarah Antonia is growing into a big girl of more than 2 years. A blessed grandson, Jackson was born to Claire and Ryan Parker this summer. These two little children have created so much happiness for their parents and for me and for so many other people.

I hope to see many of you at this Sale, it is always a pleasure for me to see old friends. I couldnít have a sale without help, as always, from my daughters, my sons in law, and friends, Hannah, Michael and Sue and Jim Speers, also my fine fettlers Lynn Zeigler and Gail Gates, and Janet Hammond who has done the floral arrangements for so many years, thank you all.

Best wishes and may peace be with you.
Sam Uhlick





Customers are welcome at the workshop between sales; please call ahead (780-922-5061) to be sure that I am home. Uhlick pottery is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (www.albertacraft.ab.ca) in Edmonton. It can also be found at Bluerock Gallery (www.bluerockgallery.ca) in Black Diamond, Alberta.



Spring Sale 2015
UHLICK POTTERY & TILE


SPRING SALE 2015

May 30th and 31st
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
53123 Range Road 214, Ardrossan



How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for a bus shelter on the left and a sign with the name Uhlick. "Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.



53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery and Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery



Dear Friends,

You are invited on May 30th and 31 to the Uhlick Pottery and Tile spring sale 2015 and the first sale in a New Democratic Alberta! I am feeling, for several reasons very hopeful.

It has always been a pleasure for me to make pottery and I have been working hard this year. There are many large coffee mugs this Spring in some new glaze combinations. There are even some glaze combinations that were not intended.

Potters have always relied on their kilns for the ultimate success of their work. The beauty of the pottery glaze can vary from place to place within the kiln because of differences in the kiln atmosphere and temperature. The shape and volume of the kiln, the relationship between the flue size and chimney height and many more variables influence the way a particular kiln fires. The kiln god was a superstition that provided potters in the past with an explanation for the varying results of the kiln.

In the past 40+ years Iíve had some spectacularly bad firings! Mostly because of my own ignorance, carelessness or forgetfulness! Iím more efficient these days and Iíd like to think that Iím not as ignorant and maybe not as careless as I once was. My car kiln has had its share of teething problems and some faults were corrected and there were repairs over the years.

The first firing was on November 23 in 1995. Back then when I built this kiln for the first time in my life I had the help of a retired professional refractory mason, thank you, Jack Williams! Old friend, Iíll want you to help me with my next kiln too.

Over the years Iíve had more than 600 firings in my kilns and there is still anticipation, excitement and still some unexpected and some unwanted favors from the kiln god. Last week some of the nice copper reds got so hot that they ran onto the kiln shelves! In spite of that there were some very nice pots as well. That was firing #222 and there will be three more loads of pottery fired. There are always some zingers and I hope that you will find some of these special pots at this Spring Sale. May 30th and 31st 2015.

Best wishes,
Sam Uhlick



Customers are welcome at the workshop between sales; please call ahead (780-922-5061) to be sure that I am home. Uhlick pottery is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (www.albertacraft.ab.ca) in Edmonton. It can also be found at Bluerock Gallery (www.bluerockgallery.ca) in Black Diamond, Alberta.







Christmas Sale 2014
UHLICK POTTERY & TILE


CHRISTMAS SALE 2014

November 29th and 30th
10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
53123 Range Road 214, Ardrossan



How to get here:

Uhlick Pottery and Tile is located 16 kilometres east of the Edmonton city limits just south of Highway 16 (Yellowhead). Turn right (south) on Range Road 214. A Vehicle Inspection Station located at this intersection makes a good landmark. Drive 1 kilometre south of the highway and look for a bus shelter on the left and a sign with the name Uhlick. "Uhlick Pottery and Tile" is searchable on Google Maps.



53123 Range Road 214
Ardrossan, Alberta T8E 2E1
(780) 922-5061


Contact us:

Website: www.uhlick.com
Email: uhlickpots@uhlick.com
or: uhlickpottery@gmail.com
Facebook: Uhlick Pottery and Tile
On Youtube search for: Sam Uhlick Pottery



Dear Friends,

What a year it has been! I have been taking time for reflection, travel, hiking, x-c skiing, kayaking and hoped-for renewal. And I have been mostly successful in that goal. I have missed (and am still missing) so much of what we once had, but I am making progress! I owe a debt of gratitude to my old friends and especially my daughters and sons in law. I have a beautiful granddaughter, Sarah Antonia to be thankful for. I also have a new friend, Pat Dunn, who has taken a big step to help me get ready for this sale.

After Iíd sent out my ďNo SaleĒ letter last November I received many kind messages and letters in reply. Thanks to all of you who took the time to write to me. You canít know how much that it meant. Thank you.

I am grateful for what I have and grateful that I can make pottery. Pottery making is a kind of therapy for me and I needed this and used it for comfort and to try to center myself over the past couple of years. I have been making pottery throughout 2014, not continuously, but I started in January working with porcelain and have made some very nice pieces, mostly bowls, teacups and saucers (very tricky to make!) and some fluted stem vases. I glaze fired a few of these pieces in February, but I havenít sold any of them and most are being fired in these final 5 firings of the year.

Iíve spent the rest of the year, (excepting a trip to Paris and Iceland with Pat), making stoneware pottery, and trying to center. So, have I made the best pots of my career in 2014? Maybe not, but I have some very nice pottery now and as I write this there are still two firings to go. There are many pots that I would consider ďshow potsĒ and I have been surprised by some that didnít turn out as I expected but did turn out unexpectedly well. Not by talent but by accident. Anyway, there will be more pottery than at a normal Christmas sale but certainly not as much as I make in a normal year.

I hope to see as many of you as can make it this year and please remember to get in touch if you cannot make it so that you can stay on the new pottery mailing list.

Best wishes,
Sam Uhlick




After making the clay, pugging and preparing the lumps, then throwing the pot, there are still many more steps before firing and fettling. I have posted photos of some of these steps online and two YouTube videos showing me throwing a 3 Ĺ lb casserole and a ĺ lb pitcher.

Customers are welcome at the workshop between sales; please call ahead (780-922-5061) to be sure that I am home. Uhlick pottery is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (www.albertacraft.ab.ca) in Edmonton. It can also be found at Bluerock Gallery (www.bluerockgallery.ca) in Black Diamond, Alberta.

Please note that I will be updating the invitation mailing list at the Christmas sale. I donít want to lose you if you would like to receive invitations to future sales! If you wonít be at this yearís sale but would like to stay on the mailing list, please send me an email or give me a call.





Christmas Sale 2013 - Spring Sale 2014


Dear Friends,

For the first time in over 40 years I am taking a break. There will not be a Christmas sale this year nor will there be a Spring sale in 2014.
Most of you will know by now of our beloved Antonia's death on September 3rd. Many of you came to her memorial service and we have been grateful for the many loving and thoughtful cards that you've sent to me and my daughters over the past 3 months. We will always miss our Antonia. For those of you who weren't able to come to the memorial service we have posted my tribute to Antonia and those of our daughters Anna, Claire and Nicole on the pottery website www.uhlick.com. There will be a link on the main page with some photographs. Her obituary can be seen by searching the Edmonton Journal website.

Even though Antonia was too ill during her last year to make very much pottery, she always rallied to help with the pottery sales. This Spring after her stem cell transplant she still baked and priced and worked hard. She always wanted to make the workshop look nice. I can't yet bear to have a sale without her.

Antonia was able to participate in Claire and Ryan's wedding on August 10th this summer. The beautiful photo of her used on her memorial program was taken at the wedding when her hair was starting to grow back and she was positively radiant. But her cancer was so strong and she was able to see our first grandchild, Anna and Jeremy's baby, named Sarah Antonia, only once a few days before she died. Antonia was a wonderful wife and mother, she loved us and we loved her and we were with her until the end. We will always love her and she is also missed by many many friends.

Our sales have always been a joyful time for our family. The girls and I will miss seeing you, our friends, during this necessary 'sabbatical'. I have some plans for the workshop and my pottery production will continue at a slower pace for the next year. I need to make and mend some things that have been neglected during the last 2 years. I will do a little travelling and as much x-c skiing, hiking, biking and kayaking as I can. I have found peace in nature and I am lucky to have friends and family that I can share this with. And visits with Sarah Antonia bring joy and hope to all of our hearts.

One of the cards that I received after Antonia's death had this quote from a Robert Burns song, Ae Fond Kiss, "Had we never loved so kindly, Had we never loved so blindly, Never met and never parted, We would ne'er be broken-hearted"

Dear friends I hope that you will have a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Peaceful New Year. I know that some of you will miss seeing us, as we will miss you, but we hope to see you all next Christmas, 2014.

Best wishes,
Sam Uhlick, November 26, 2013


Our 2013 Summer Sale will be two weeks later than usual and will be held on Saturday, June 15th and Sunday, June 16th from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

53123 Range Road 214, Ardrossan


shino bowl.jpg

Dear Friends,

Antonia's stem cell transplant happened on May 3rd, later than we originally expected. There was a frightening infection, pneumonia, which occurred after the transplant when she was most susceptible. Antonia was hospitalized for almost a month at the Cross Cancer Institute. We are very glad that Antonia is home now, although she is still very weak and immune compromised. Her recovery will take another 6 weeks and we are hoping for the best possible remission. We are very grateful for the kind nurses and the care of Dr. Steve Follett and Antonia's oncologist, Dr. Andrew Belch during this treatment.

Antonia's illness has reduced my potting time, but I have been able to finish most orders and I will have done four firings by the sale date. There are some shapes that I didn't have time to make but the fired pots are turning out well. There isn't a colour photo on this invitation, there just wasn't time, but I will be posting some photos on the Uhlick Pottery and Tile Facebook page. You don't have to be a member of Facebook to see these postings (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Uhlick-Pottery-Tile/196949427048252) of click the following link: Uhlick-Pottery-Tile.

We are so grateful for the many kind offers of help during Antonia's illness. There was the possibility that the first 6 people in line at the sale would have to pack pottery and operate the Visa machine, but not this time. There are many thanks due to Lyndie Shih, Lori Stewart and many others for making meals for us. The flower pots and garden were planted by Michael and Sue Johnstone, along with Zane Hamm and Rod Hazewinkel; we are very grateful to you.

We are happy to tell you that our daughter Claire and her fiance Ryan Parker are getting married in August. We are also happy that our eldest daughter Anna and her husband Jeremy are expecting a first baby towards the end of August.

Uhlick Pottery & Tile is now searchable in Google Maps. Feel free to email us at either uhlickpots@uhlick.com or uhlickpottery@gmail.com.

We welcome customers to our workshop between sales; please call ahead (780-922-5061) to make sure that we are home. Our pottery is also available at the Alberta Craft Council Gallery (www.albertacraft.ab.ca) in Edmonton. Our pottery can also be found at Bluerock Gallery (www.bluerockgallery.ca) in Black Diamond, Alberta.

Best wishes,
Sam and Antonia





map to our studio sale:
We are located 1 kilometre south of the Vehicle Inspection Station on Highway 16, on Rg. Rd. 214, which is 16 kilometres east of Edmonton city limits. Please note that we now have a school bus shelter beside our driveway. salemap (5K)


Miscellany:

From our 2012 Christmas Sale Invitation

Sam Uhlick - Middle of the Road Potter

Last year I was honoured to be the only Canadian participant in a show called TableSpace at the Fosdick Nelson Gallery in Alfred, NY. The show curator and professor, Linda Sikora, asked me to write a statement of "how the work moves and rests in the culture after it leaves your studio and perhaps your thoughts about how the work contributes to the contemporary material culture/world". This was pretty deep for me and the following statement was the best I could come up with. I wrote part of it for a show called Elements of the Earth, Alberta Clay, in 1984.

"I feel that although form, function, pattern and colour are all important in pottery, it is the warmth and spirit that can only be experienced through handling and use which are most important. Good pottery must have a liveliness and interest which goes beyond technical mastery."

Much of the pottery I've made over the 40+ years has been used, chipped and cracked, broken and discarded. I've made most of the pottery and tile with stoneware clay and it's a fact that, when broken, it is as good as gravel on the driveway. A few pots have gone to museum collections, but that was never my intention or expectation. I am touched when I see my old pots that are still treasured in the homes of friends and collectors. Some of those pots weren't that wonderful and yet they are fondly used by their owners (and they still look okay to me). I haven't tried to evoke emotion with my pottery, but my pots are at their best when they engender it.

It isn't always an easy life as a potter (physically it can be hard on us over time). What is essential is that we find pleasure and satisfaction in our life's work and I have. In the material world my pots lie somewhere between gravel and museum. Yet there is a comfortable middle ground for the kind of functional pottery that I make, a bit hit or miss and never perfect. In spite of its flaws, I like my own pottery best.

Michael Cardew said in his book, Pioneer Pottery, "The training of a potter is a process limited only by the span of his life." Another of my favourite quotes is from William Blake's proverbs of hell, "If the fool would persist in his folly he would become wise." I think Cardew's statement is true, but I'm afraid I can't count on Blake's.

Sam Uhlick



From our 2012 Spring Sale Invitation

Martin.jpg


Martin Samuel Uhlick

Our world has turned upside down since our beloved son, Martin, died on January 29, 2012. He is very, very sadly missed by his family and friends. His memorial service was on February 4th and many of you were there. There were 400 people in attendance and we have been heartened by your kind words and thoughts. Sam's tribute to Martin can be read at www.uhlick.com/martin.

Martin took his own life and although he said in his letter to us that he had been depressed for years, he never told us of his depression and neither did his friends know of it. We learned later that he had been taking the stop smoking drug Champix and we think that this might have contributed to his final depression. One of the adverse effects of the drug is suicide.

We hope that anyone who has feelings of depression will seek help, as we sorely wish that Martin had.

Sam & Antonia



From our 2011 Christmas Sale Invitation

stack of rice bowls.jpg


facebookpage.jpg

Uhlick Pottery on Facebook

We almost always like to have customers come to our workshop between sales (the exception is the month or so just before a sale). Making pottery is a quiet and sometimes solitary occupation. It is nice to see a friendly face and it is a more relaxed way to have a visit than at one of our sales. Almost everyone who comes through the door to our workshop for the first time, when we are actually making pots, stops and says with horror "What happened?" At its best our workshop has a ragged, jumbly, disordered and dusty look about it; at its worst it looks like a junk bomb went off. That pots that are being made are organized but everything else is piled up with a layer of dust on top! You may have thought, after coming to a sale, that I was a nice tidy person. This is one of the reasons for our new Uhlick Pottery & Tile facebook page (thanks to our daughter Claire for this 'innovation'). I have been posting a photograph nearly every day, to show some of the mess, but mostly to show the process of making pots and the progress from our normal disaster to the clean floor and organization of our sale. At this point, there are photos of throwing, trimming, slipping, decorating pottery, and of a young bull moose that was moseying around our pond. By the time you receive this there will be photos of our firings and finished pots too. The best thing is that you don't have to be on Facebook to see this page. You can google us, or go to Uhlick-Pottery-Tile to see our worst. These daily postings will be for this month only, with some occasional postings later. We hope that you will still want to come to our sale after seeing the truth revealed.

Sam
November 21, 2011


From our 2011 Spring Sale Invitation


Ilya.jpg

Ilya Oratovsky - Hand Weaver

For the last 40 years I have loved handmade pottery and other tools and objects that are elegant combinations of function and beauty. Our world would be a colder place if we didn't have anything made by hand.
I think tht handmade pottery and furniture, hand knit sweaters, quilting and hand weaving have different vibrations than machine made objects. For me, there is a warm glow from these objects, almost like the glow from healthy skin. Other people see or sense this too.
I was honoured by the Alberta Craft Council this winter to be nominated for a lifetimne achievement award. I would like to recommend someone who, at 80 years of age, truly is a lifetime craftsman and deserves much more recognition. The hand weaver Ilya Oratovsky, who sells his work at the Strathcona Market, is often overlooked because his craftmanship is so good that people mistake his work for machine weaving. Antonia and I visited Ilya and his wife Maria, who is also a weaver, at their home. We saw in his simple workshop, the looms and warping mill that he built himself. These are not the beautiful looms that are pieces of furniture, but functional tools for a man who knows exactly what he needs. Ilya and Maria were trained in the Ukraine and he designs and weaves beautiful wool, and wool and alpaca blankets. Japan is a country that has had a long tradition of handcrafts and a respect for the craftspeople that make them. If Ilya were Japanese he would be respected and nationally recognized for his skill and dedication to his craft, and his blankets would cost much more than they do here.If anyone has not had a chance to see Ilya's traditional blankets or to buy one (or a dozen like we have), please look for him at the Strathcona Market. You can find his table in the second aisle from the east and about 100 feet north of the main entrance. His work is also available at one of the only stores in Edmonton where nothing is made in China, the Alberta Craft Council Gallery at 10186-106 Street.
If handmade objects are the warm skin of our interactions with life, Ilya is one of the people who can keep us warm in two ways.


From our 2010 Christmas Sale Invitation

awards.jpg
Photographer: Mike Lipset

This October I received the Linda Stanier & Family Memorial Award for 2010. This award was presented in Calgary along with the Award of Honour, presented to Katrina Chaytor and the Award of Achievement, received by Mindy Andrews. You can find out more about the awards and the recipients at http://www.albertacraft.ab.ca/index.htm.

This is Linda Stanier's letter of nomination:

I first became aware of Sam Uhlick while studying Clay at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in the early 90's. Walter Ostrom, head of the ceramics program, declared one day that Sam Uhlick was the best potter in Canada. Specifically I recall that Walter felt Sam met the daily task of making a living as a studio potter with superb craftmanship and integrity of vision.

I was eager to experience Sam's work after that and quickly acquired my own piece of his after moving to Alberta a few years later. As an aspiring studio potter, Uhlick's work was an inspiration to me through its diversity of form, clarity of execution and diligent abundance. One often learns through example and with Uhlick this is particularly neceswsary as he is a shy and retiring figure, leaving the limelight to academics and showmen. But step into any major pottery venue in the last 20 years across Canada and there was work of Uhlick's to see, fondle and purchase. Oriental inspirations are evident in the simple cobalt/chrome colour combinations he uses. His sense of patterning is enlivened by the spontaneity of freehand brushstrokes and sgraffito. There is energy in his mark making. Energy of that kind is found in work that has been done many times and is the ultimate challenge for the studio potter: to present cliche's so clearly they appear original.

He has had the respect and attention of the Canadian ceramics community and is collected across our country and around the world. No mean feat for a potter working from Ardrossan, Alberta. It was, however, the quote included in the Clay 2010 catalogue that caused me to leap from my chair and fire him an email of acclaim, "If all ceramics were divided into two groups, there would be those objects that are dusted and those pots that are washed. Almost all of mine would end up in the kitchen sink." Such humility in the face of our celebrity age is truly laudable and evidence of an understanding of the true worth of hand made pottery: that it will live on as a testament to a moment of creative energy separate from ego through the continued celebration of daily use.

Sam Uhlick is a professional craftsman of tremendous creative and personal integrity and I feel it is this above all that qualifies him for this award in the name of Linda Stanier.
by Diane Sullivan


First firing 2010.jpg
From the first firing in May 2010

First firing May 2010.jpg



From our 2010 Spring Sale Invitation

Shino 6 inch bowl.jpg


Pottery Vibrations

Someone, about thirty years ago (I think in Ceramics Monthly magazine), compared the throwing marks on an ancient platter and the grooves on a record. (Younger readers should look up record/record player in Wikipedia). The idea they had was: wouldn't it be interesting if some future scientist could translate those throwing marks into sounds from the ancient potter's workshop? The earliest possible sound recordings! Thirty years ago this was an amusing and whimsical notion. These days perhaps it isn't so impossible. We hear about the ability of science to measure isotopes in a migratory bird's feather that will show where that bird had moulted. This seems amazing to me, so perhaps the possibility that potters might be inadvertently making sound recordings is not so laughable. Considering how quickly a pot may be thrown though, one couldn't expect to hear much more than fragments of a CBC radio program, or a dog's bark, from one of my pots. Possible sound recordings aside, I think that we potters do transmit vibrations to our work (for better or worse), with every touch of a finger or stroke of a brush. These vibrations may be too subtle for our modern scientific instruments to detect, but people who are sensitive to handmade objects can feel them none-the-less.


From our 2009 Christmas Sale Invitation

teacup and saucer


Cups and Saucers: "Many a slip..."

It has always been music to our ears when someone tells us they enjoy using our pottery. Functional pottery is tactile and needs to be used to be fully appreciated. But handmade pottery is relatively expensive; some shapes more expensive than others, and not always for obvious reasons. An example of this would be teacups and saucers, more appropriately called cups and saucers. Breakfast cups and saucers are used for coffee these days, or a comforting bowl of chicken soup. Saucer'd cups have been made for a thousand years; some beautiful examples from Chinese and Korean history are wine and tea cups with saucers. The western world didn't just get tea from China; we got "china" from China (now of course we get everything from China). A couple of hundred years ago, English teacups and saucers were just for the upper class. My own mother, working class and old fashioned (she was born in 1908), would have afternoon tea parties with her best bone china teacups and saucers. For most of us, slopping a dribble of tea isn't a problem, but if one is dressed up for afternoon tea, one can see the usefulness of a saucer. But why are they so danged expensive? In fact, we try to keep the price lower than it might be, just so we can sell them. Both the cup and saucer take more time to make than an ordinary mug. In addition, they are fraught with difficulty. The foot of the cup has to fit into the indentation of the saucer. The both have to come out of the kiln in good shape too. If just one of them is a "second" the set becomes a "second" or worse. There definitely is, for a potter at least, many a slip twixt the cup and the lip.

From our 2009 Spring Sale Invitation:


square plates with food


Pottery and Food

Recently on THE AGE OF PERSUASION (a really good CBC radio program about, of all things, advertising), Terry O'Reilly was told by a client that "we don't sell 3/4 inch drill bits, we sell 3/4 inch holes". You could say the same thing about purely functional commercial pottery; that it is the space which it contains that is important. I suppose as functional potters, we are, in fact, selling a better, we hope much better, "hole". Our pottery is meant to be used; the tactile appreciation of it is only possible when it us used.
Pottery and food have been connected for over 6,000 years of human history. A bowl is a symbol for food and life itself. Maybe because of this, pottery has been anthropomorphized; we talk about feet, bellies and lips of pottery, and although pots can last 10,000 years, they are fragile.
Commercial pottery is inexpensive and these days it might be hard for some to justify the cost of handmade products. And yet...there is, or can be, an emotional response to our pottery. We feel regret and even sadness when a really special pot breaks. Other people do too. Handmade pottery has warmth adn vibration that isn't present in commercial pottery; even the most skillfully made handmade pots have imperfections that show the process of making. There is an inherent depth to hand applied glaze, and a lustre in glaze and decoration that enhances food. We have heard from many people that "food tastes better in one of your pots". Not just pottery, but other handmade items, have this warmth and their daily use enhances our lives.


From our 2008 Christmas Sale Invitation:

This has been an interesting and, at times, difficult year. I had my 55th birthday and up until this year I would have said that I have been aging gracefully; the wrinkles on my face were nicely catching up with the worry lines on my forehead. I'm afraid tht trend has faltered a bit in 2008. The shows at the Alberta Craft Council and in Kyoto were for the most part fun. As I said in my "speech" at the opening of the ACC show, "This show is a stage in this potter's life, and it's given me a chance to think about what I know and where I am". I have been comfortable with my pots and slow progress over the years, but I was grateful for this chance and I didn't want to disappoint my friends. I tried some new ideas with very mixed success; no one wants a chimney pot, but they were fun to make. They were also too heavy to take to Kyoto where they would have been even more baffling for the Japanese. The show at the Sakaimachi Gallery was a success and the trip to Japan with our daughter, Claire, was wonderful. Claire is an artist (www.clairelouiseuhlick.com) and is interested in architecture and art history as well. She was a lot of help in setting up the show and a pleasure to travel with. We stayed with my old friend, Mayao Umesao, who is a potter, and his wife, near Kyoto, for part of our trip. Mayao was the first person I met the summer of 1971, when I attended the Banff School of Fine Arts. It has been about 10 years since we last met si it was especially heartening to see him and his family again.

There were some losses in this past year too. The photo at the bottom of this section is of my friend Geoff Hughes. You might have seen him and talked to him at our sales over the years. You can read my eulogy for him at www.uhlick.com/GeoffHughes. He is sadly missed by me and many more friends.

Finally, I should say that I have never felt more the blessings of my wife, Antonia, my family and friends (old and new) than I have this year.

Best wishes,
Sam Uhlick

Sam Claire Mayao in Kyoto.jpg


Geoff Hughes.jpg



From our 2008 Spring Sale Invitation:


sampler plate.jpg


Sampler Poem Plate


I read this lovely poem in January and used it for not only this plate, but also for the title of the show "Alberta is My Home". I think you will agree that, in the case of this commemorative plate, it would be much more poignant if I were already dead, but all potters and artists hope that their work does "stand the test of time".

Samplers were examples of cross-stitching or embroidery done by young women during the 18th and early 19th centuries.

Elisabeth Crandall is my name
And America is my nation
Providence is my home
And Christ is my salvation.
When I am dead and in my grave
And all my bones are rotten,
If this you see
Remember me
When I am quite forgotten.
1845


From Wobegon Boy by Garrison Keeler.




From our 2007 Christmas Sale Invitation:


drying rack,jpg


For all of our pottery friends and customers who haven't visited our workshop between sales, it is hard to describe the apparent disorder that you's see. Pottery in stacks, higher stacks if they have been bisque fired, smaller stacks if they are drying or waiting to be bisqued, along with pots on boards in the damp room waiting to be trimmed or handled. As well, there are the other projects that seem to happen simultaneously - repairing or making tools, woodworking or welding. this is our normal workshop and we seem to get a surprising amount of work done. Not, though, in a very scientific or business-like way. Someone came out to the workshop when we were in full production mode and exclaimed "What happened?!" Even the UPS driver once looked at the 'mess' and commented that it was a work in progress. In spite of this, we welcome visitors between sale.

I always use the summer months for mixing the clay, building equipment and working on the workshop/house itself, which is still not finished. This summer I prepared a new blunger for clay mixing to replace the old one (which is just about worn out) and finished two sides of our kiln shed. The stages of a cycle of pot making starts with mixing the clay (we've bought 137 tons of raw clay in the last 29 years), pugging (this is done in a pugmill, a machine that I built 25 years ago for mixing and de-airing plastic clay) and throwing clay, trimming and handling pots, fettling and bisque firing, glazing and decorating, firing and fettling the pots again, cleaning up and preparing for a sale. Easy to list the steps, but each step takes time and skill to complete. It's almost always been fun, though, for all of these years. There is a little bit of magic along with the art and science in making a piece of pottery.



From our 2006 Christmas Sale Invitation:


kiln shed


Kiln Shed

When we first moved to the country, at the end of the summer of 1995, we moved to a house and workshop that weren't finished. There was painting, setting up the workshop, and a hundred other things to do. We didn't start to build the kiln until October. But we worked like mad and managed to make enough pottery for two firings in our new kiln. The firings were okay and we had some umexpected blue pots that were much admired by some, but never repeated. The doors weren't even hung in our house when we had our first sale that December. I remember that the weather was cold during the sale, but lots of people came and it was very heart-warming for us.

Although a kiln shed was in the plans, there were always more important projects (doors, bathrooms, stairs). This year we do have a kiln shed. Started in September, the last roofing was put on the day before it snowed. The trusses came from a demolition company, the standing seam roofing from our friend, Paul Ryan (Ryan Scrap and Industries) and the posts were piping from the inside of the oil field shacks that we got from O'Hanlon Paving. Along with 30 lbs. of welding rod, these materials were recycled to become our new kiln shed.

There is a business philosophy that says that companies should stick to their core product for greatest efficiency. Yet it has always been a pleasure for me to build the equipment for our workshop; to work with stone and wood and steel, as well as make the pottery, clay and glazes. A good business philosophy isn't alwasy a good philosophy for life.


From our 2006 Spring Sale Invitation:


young kids

kids grown


Time Flies...

An old joke that we tell in our family is the one that goes: Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. We all know that the older we get the faster the arrow flies and we seem to be feeling it, especially this spring (of course fruit flies prefer an older banana). Some of you will remember the Christmas Sale at our old workshop in Bonnie Doon, when Anna was a new baby, mostly sleeping in her basket while we packed pottery. Over the past 25 years, Antonia and I have gone from having no children (that period didn't last very long!) to four children too small to help. Now we are blessed with four adults who are so helpful that it would be hard to do without them. We only have two living at home now, although they will all be helping at this sale.
Nicole, our youngest, is graduating from grade 12 this spring and will be leaving us for a Canada World Youth exchange in September. CWY is an exchange program whose mission is "to increase the ability of people, and especially youth, to participate actively in the development of just, harmonious and sustainable societies". The participants from both countries will be involved in community work projects, learn a new language and become better citizens of the world. You can find out more at www.cwy-jcm.org. You might remember that Anna was on a CWY exchange three years ago. If any of you are interested in this program, please talk to Nicole or Anna. One of the participants' responsibilities prior to leaving on the exchange is to do some fundraising. I'm sure that Nicole would welcome any donation to Canada World Youth.


From our 2005 Christmas Sale Invitation:


Mishka

Mishka

When we moved to the country in 1995, one of the nicest additions to our family was our dog Mishka. She became our friend and "Greeter". She was here for every Sale and was a good dog. When she was young she used to chase the deer and coyotes; we remember her as a black speck chasing a bounding deer. We were always afraid that she would catch the deer or that the coyotes would catch her. She wasn't a good dog at first. She was rude and sometimes aggressive; she could be snappish when people touched her food and when greeting people she would sniff in embarrassing places. But she was fun from the start, in a maddening sort of way, and we loved her. She failed her first obedience class and, worse, she chased cows, which in this part of the country, can mean a death sentence. But she lived, and became a black and beautiful part of our landscape. Wherever we walked, she was with us, always in front of us when she was young, but lately more often behind us. She was a very good dog. Her job was to watch, to bark, and to never, never bite. Always a part of our Sales, she will be missed this year. When she was young she would sometimes take a child's cookie, but as she grew older she learned not to do this.
It's been several years now since she'd chased any deer. She had grown from her youth, to middle age, to aged so quickly. She died on November 8th and we miss her. There is a black hole in our landscape, the ghost of a good dog.


From our 2005 Spring Sale Invitation:


Yunomi

Yunomi

Yunomis are Japanese teacups and, like our teacups and mugs, are made in many sizes, from the size of sake cups to the larger sushi shop size, which is the size that I make. I've often been asked about these cups, sometimes because of the price (they cost more), and because of the spelling of the word.

Drinking cups are probably the most 'intimate' pots that we make. They are the only pots, in western culture at least, that we put to our lips. (There are exceptions of course: soup cups, coffee bowls in France and soup bowls in the Orient). Yunomis are more tactile than most cups. Mugs have handles and are fast. Yunomis don't have handles, so they need to be handled with more care. They take more time to make and decorate and they take more time to use: yunomis are slow pots in more than one way.

I think that this intimate connections we have with cups contributes to the love some of us have for pottery. Nursing a warm cup, combined with an addiction to tea or coffee is a potent sensory experience. I love Java, but especially in my favourite cup!


From our 2004 Christmas Sale Invitation:


commemorative plates

Miscellany

Commemorative plates and bowls have been made (probably) since there were literate potters. There are many examples of poetry and religious quotations on Persian pottery from the 10th century. Wedding plates and betrothal plates were made in England and Europe since the 16th century.
The first commemorative pots that I made were at Wenford Bridge Pottery in Cornwall in 1978 for the 25th anniversary of the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. I made dozens of mugs and some beer steins that had EII R, a crown and the dates 1953 and 1978 scratched into the slip. Since then I have made thousands of commemorative mugs, albarellos, wedding plates, birth plates and bowls. I have made letter and number tiles and trivets as well (I'd love to do a complete tile alphabet for someone's nursery). The most difficult and memorable commemorative plate that I have made was for Beryl Hedley-Smith's 80th birthday, which included her name and the names of her seven children.

In 1975, in Jean and Henry Ward's collection, I saw my first harvest jug, inscribed with the following poem:
Ode to the Farmer

May the wealthy and Great, live in Splendour and State
I envy them not I declare it!
I eat my own Ham, my Chickens and Lamb,
I shear my own fleece and I wear it,
I have lawns, I have bow'rs
I have trees, I have flow'rs
The lark is my morning Alarmer,
So Jolly Boys now, here's God Speed the Plough,
Long Life and Good Health to the Farmer.



From our 2003 Christmas Sale Invitation:


coffee mug

Slipware

One of the glaze/decoration combinations that Sam has used for over 26 years is shown in the photo above (we call the pattern on this mug "eyebrow"). Potters sometimes mistake this technique for an iron glaze called tenmoku. Actually, it is a combination of an iron slip under a translucent glaze. Leather hard pots are dipped into the slip (a mixture of iron oxide and liquid clay) and then decorated by combing, while it is still liquid or soft. This method of decoration is called slipware. The technique was first used in China (like most things in ceramic history) and can be seen on pots made earlier that the 10th century. Michael Cardew (with whom Sam apprenticed in 1977) made slipped earthenware pottery at Winchcombe, and later used the technique on stoneware at Wenford Bridge Pottery. Sam learned to decorate with this technique at Wenford Bridge and has been using it ever since.

It is interesting to note, in case anyone collects old English slipware, that those early jugs and pots were glazed with a raw lead glaze, and should not be used. All of our stoneware pottery is fired to 2300 degrees F. (1280 degrees C.) and lead is never used at these temperatures.


From our 2003 Spring Sale Invitation:


copper red bowl

Copper Red

The colour photo of the fluted bowl above has a glaze known as copper red or sang-de-boeuf. This glaze is another famous Chinese invention and is one that, until recently, I hadn't really liked. It can be too showy, so bright that it looks like paint. Although copper is a potent colouring oxide (there is only 1/4 percent in our red), the colour can be difficult to achieve, tempermental and fugitive. The atmosphere in the kiln, the speed of cooling, and the thickness of the glaze are all factors affecting it. When this glaze is imperfectly fired, you can find the full range of colour, from the pale green of the base glaze to red or plum. I find this contrast, although considered a defect by some, much more attractive.


From our 2002 Christmas Sale Invitation:


celadon bowl

Celadon

The bowl in the photo above has a green glaze known as celadon. Celadon glazes, which range in colour from pale blue-green to dark olive green, are probably the oldest feldspathic glazes. The green colour comes from iron oxide suspended in the glaze melt. In early glazes this probably came from the stone or ash that was used to make the glaze. One of our celadons, made from the same granite tha we used for part of our stairs, developed a very nice pale green without any additional iron. According to Hetherington in Chinese Ceramic Glazes, the word celadon "derived from Saladin, Sultan of Egypt, who sent forty pieces of the ware to Nur-ed-din, Sultan of Damascus in 1171. Another derivation is from the shepherd Celadon, a character in a seventeenth-century romance called L'Astree, written by Honore d'Urfe. The shepherd was garbed in a grey-green coat of a distinctive tone"

Although today the celadon is not our most popular glaze, it has always been a favourite among potters, and at least one special friend.


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