Okanagan Pottery

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© 2018 by Okanagan Pottery

A Homecoming

From: Made of Clay - Ceramics of British Columbia

Carol E. Mayer, Published by Douglas & MacIntyre 1998

HOLY MACARONI !  I am one lucky duck.  My dream came true – to make pots for a living. Not just any old pots, but the pots I want to make. Collectors, galleries and shops have supported and encouraged my endeavours, for which I am eternally grateful.  The studio where I work is situated in the Heart of the Okanagan Valley, in Peachland.  My father-in-law, Des Loan, had the foresight, entrepreneurial spirit and downright eccentricity to build it back in 1968.

The world passes by our door, especially in the summer months, but fortunately, lots of people actually stop long enough to come through. The steadily growing demand for my work requires help from employees and apprentices, some from two blocks away, others from as far away as Denmark, Germany, England and Togo. While contributing to the flow of work, all have added their own special flair and colour to our lives.

In addition to thrown work, I also design tableware for both pressed and slip cast production. We managed for years firing the original workhorse – a 12 cubic foot Alpine. The kiln mantra was “Load, Fire, Unload, Load, Fire…”  Finally, in 1995, we acquired a new 60 cubic foot downdraft. Wow! My wife Daphne, thank God, Buddha and all the Saints,has supported, encouraged, and even taken the bull by the horns when my own leap of faith fell short. Her intuition for what is right keeps the studio progressive. Happily, as one can see, my pots are not born in a vacuum but in the richness of a supportive environment of family, friends and peers.

- Peter Flanagan

Okanagan Pottery in 1968


Simplicity in glazes combining both local clays and natural wood ash have revealed an ever expanding range of possibilities. Though simple in formulae the complexity of surface and colour variation seem both endless and inspiring. Drawing upon early origins of ancient oriental pottery and glaze development, the current work seems to reflect some of the rawness and unpredictability of those historic works.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Returning to pottery-making after a lengthy hiatus has been a true homecoming. The skills one acquires during a lifetime of craft do not vanish but rather lie dormant, only to be reignited once the wheel turns. Not unlike becoming reacquainted with a long lost friend, there are the old memories and stories, while at the same time all the excitement of what is new and unknown.

Recent work shares facets of the past and also a new direction of discovery in form and surface. High fired porcelain continues to be my chosen medium of expression. Glaze colour applied to the white ground gives greater depth, as well as a fullness of colour.