Versatile clay gets its day during Denman Pottery Tour

Wear it, enhance a fine meal with it, or simply enjoy its sheer beauty. There are few artistic mediums as versatile as clay!

Soup mugs by Tom Dennis are among the many clay treasures you can find at the 25th annual Denman Island Pottery Tour.

Soup mugs by Tom Dennis are among the many clay treasures you can find at the 25th annual Denman Island Pottery Tour.

Wear it, enhance a fine meal with it, or simply enjoy its sheer beauty. There are few artistic mediums as versatile as clay!The creations awaiting discovery on Denman Island’s 25th anniversary Pottery Tour on May 19 and 20 are incredibly diverse.Twelve unique venues will be showcasing exciting clay works handcrafted by some of B.C.’s most talented artisans — from exquisite jewelry, to colorful dinner ware, and playful garden sculptures.Bronwyn Simons of Terra Home Ceramics has recently added a bold new look to her Unbuttoned Jewelry line, in the form of oval-shaped pendants formed by hand from smooth white porcelaneous stoneware. A second firing in the production process involves the application of glaze to the clay surface, and tiny chunks of coloured glass that melt and fuse together, resulting in a deep, rich crackle pattern.The finished pieces resemble thin slabs of polished turquoise stone or amber topaz, with a dazzling refractive quality.Recent developments in the studio of Scott and Garnet Beardsley, include the variation on a theme of a colorful glaze that crawls like lichen over the ceramic surface. Modified for use on decorative tableware, it is now satin smooth to the touch and highly appealing in a unique new way.Devout tour-goers will also be thrilled to find more original drawings delicately painted on a wide assortment of functional items by either one or both of this talented duo.A gorgeous selection of urns, large vases, casserole dishes and platters line the gallery shelves in Tom Dennis’ Lake Farm Studio. Collectors will also find ample mugs, bowls, square and triangular-shaped plates awash in blues, mauve, delicious plum, and burgundy reds.Bev Severn’s delightful lily pond sculptures make unique table centerpieces with added water, beach stones and floating blossoms.This artist’s appreciation for the prima matera includes creating all manner of custom-designed pieces, both sacred and profane.Severn welcomes requests for personalized wedding goblets, goddess figurines and other one-of-a-kind sculptures.  The studios of Sudasi Gardner, Hanne Christensen, Sean Woods and Marjo Van Tooren, Shirley Phillips, Bentley LeBaron, and Gordon Hutchens will also be unveiling affordable new works on the May long weekend. In addition, visitors are invited to enjoy an outdoor sale of brand new wood-fired pieces at the site of a rare Anagama Kiln.In honor of the tour’s Silver Jubilee, a retrospective at the DI Arts Centre will exhibit both historical and contemporary examples of ‘pottery’ created on the island over the past 25 years and beyond!Pick up your free map to the self-guided tour at the Buckley Bay ferry booth, or the DI Arts Centre.For a colourful sneak preview, visit www.denmanpottery2012.blogspot.com.— Denman Island Pottery Tour