Le Baron Studio Pig

32nd annual Denman Island Pottery Studio Tour runs Saturday, Sunday

Denman Island’s popular spring Pottery Studio Tour provides a wonderful way to discover exceptional ceramic art while enjoying the island’s peaceful rural ambience.

Thirteen local artists in 10 unique venues will be showcasing exciting new creations on the 32nd annual tour, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., May 18-19.

A visit to LeBaron Studio, for example, invites visitors to step into a world beneath towering cedar and fir trees, where clay gods and goddesses hold court alongside miniature dragons, prehistoric bulls, kooky canines, and shiny jet black ravens with exaggerated beaks and talons.

Collectors will also find Vasilia Clayworks on display in the LeBaron studio space over the May long weekend. Apprentice Vasilia Wees has been working with the veteran potter for some time, honing the skills of the trade and developing her own impressive talent. New works include tall mugs, bowls and plates, charming miniature pigs and elegant life-size female figures.

“Sculpture allows for such stylized abstractions and gestures of emotion that the never-ending variations are an unending joy to imagine and create,” said Wees.

Flora and fauna have provided inspiration for artists since time immemorial. Barb Mills delights in creating ‘to scale’ versions of the various birds that frequent the Morrison Marsh ecosystem that she and partner John Mills call home. Tour-goers will find little free-standing wrens, chickadees and towhees in Raucous Raven Pottery alongside nuthatches, winter wrens, flickers, ravens, pileated woodpeckers (complete with flaming-red crests) and other birds sculpted on branches or tree trunks.

John specializes in wheel work – his lidded pots, colanders, casserole dishes and bowls are made with a clay body that fires brick red. Gorgeous glazes range from a celadon-like green to deep night sky blue.

There is an exceptional range of styles and techniques to be found on the tour, also including outstanding sculptural pieces and functional wares by Gordon Hutchens, Tom Dennis, Scott and Garnet Beardsley, Hanne Christensen, Shirley Philips of Lilac Sun Pottery, Marjo Van Tooren of Down to Earth Pottery, Dante Ambriel and Tashi Draper of Flowing Art Studio.

Pick up your free map for the self-guided treasure hunt at the ferry booth in Buckley Bay, or at the Denman Craft Shop, where a special exhibit featuring examples from each of the artists participating in the tour is set up for the entire month of May.

For a colorful sneak preview, links to ferry schedule information and more, visit www.denmanpottery2019.blogspot.com. You can also find the 2019 Denman Pottery Studio Tour on Facebook.

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