Exactly a year ago, in January 2017, Mary and I left for the ICS in Hungary for our 3rd residency.This year, 2018, We have just found out that we have both been accepted for a residency in Shaigaraki, Japan, later in 2018. In early March, I head over to the UK to teach another final class at the Leach Pottery, and take a poster to the Restating Clay Conference in York. The poster will be about the research on the Leach Horse and Rider. Ceramic Arts and Perception published the Horse and Rider article in #106, that came out in December 2017. I will also be teaching at Red Deer College in Alberta, and at MISSA on Vancouver Island. Looking forward to all that in 2018. However the underpinning theme this year will be my residency, just accepted, at MOA, the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, where throughout 2018, I will spend time studying the Koerner collection and the other ceramics in the collection. Looking at two things, surface decoration of the Anabaptist work, and at the nature of the overall collection at MOA – as the collection been donated through immigration.
IN 2017 in Hungary, our first week we studied mould making with master mould maker, Gabriella Kuzsel, in a small village near Oriszentpeter in western Hungary. After a week in snow and ice with Gabi and Steve Mattison, we travelled onto Budapest- ice on the Danube – and then onto the ICS. I hoped to work with Zsolnay materials for making coloured ridge tiles, but the factory has stopped production of these specialized clays. I ended up working with antique Hungarian roof tiles that were located by Jakab Kis, one of the technicians at the ICS.
Glenn Lewis – one of the 2017 GG Award recipients [congrats Glenn], Phyllis Schwartz and I published the Second Edition of Seeking the Nuance, and it was launched it in March 2017.
Finally after 3 years the final draft of UP On the Roof Bernard Leach and the Tradition of Equestrian Tiles, written with Peter Smith, was published in book form JUST before I left for St Ives. [Thank you to the NWCF for their publishing grant!] I taught the first sculptural class ever held at the Leach in June 2017 – Keeping Up the Tradition. Later I presented a talk at the Tate St Ives about Peter’s and my research
The Mansfield’s – new editors of Ceramics Craft and Perception – will be publishing a version of the Up on the Roof book in the October 2017 #106.
In September, Joe Laughlin and Heather Dotto, of Joe Ink Dance Co came to my studio to make a video , “Dance Craft Interpretations and Connections” organized by the Craft Council of BC, and presented at the 2017 Canadian Craft Biennial in Ontario. An experience about the connections that exist between all forms of the arts. In the case of dance and ceramics, both relate to the body – terms often used for pottery – clay body, belly, foot, lip, shoulders. Good pots express captured movement. Both dance and ceramics relay narrative. And of course the radical differences – the fleeting experience of dance, and the permanence of clay – even as shards. It was extraordinary to watch a dancer move, with contained power, inside the confines of my studio.
Two family marriages, my nephew, James, and my eldest son, Jasper. Great events.
and then we will apply for Shigaraki residency in 2018…we’ll see if we are successful…?
SOFA Chicago 2017
2016 opened with the news that one of my pieces in the Ceramart Collection in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, was selected for an exhibit, “Inner Connections” in Bucharest.
Barry Morrison of Studio Ceramics Canada invited me as a guest writer, to write about Thomas Kakinuma. It was published in July 2016 https://studioceramicscanada.com
The interminable article “Bernard Leach’s Equestrian Roof Tiles and Their Location in the West Country.” [What a title!!] co-written with Pwter Smith, was published in FUSION in 2016, though there are errors in some of the labelling which have not been corrected. It is an online version only.
It was lovely to see everyone at the Leach in the fall of 2015, and spend time with Alex Lambley – she is still working on the final drafts of her PHD on the BC Leach apprentices. Yeah!
The Leach Pottery never stops giving….John Bedding has just let me know that the potters at the Leach wanted one of my equestrian sculptures as the MOJO, or kiln god, to ride on top of their new gas kiln. Now responsibility for the good, the bad and the ugly will be passed onto my Horseman.
2016 ended with the marriage of my lovely daughter.
In November 2015, the CCBC nominated me to the Mayor’s Arts Awards, [City of Vancouver] as the 2015 Honouree for Craft and Design. In turn, I was asked to nominate an emerging artist, and was delighted to nominate Samantha Knopp, an inventive and highly skilled ceramicist, and active volunteer. My son, Jasper Sloan Yip, accepted the award on my behalf, as I was in Rome at C.R.E.T.A., for a six week residency with my travel buddy, Mary Daniel.>a https://vancouver.ca/people-programs/mayors-arts-awards.aspx
Earlier I was the recipient of the ‘Hilde Gerson Award’ by the Craft Council of BC. Mary Daniel nominated me. Thank you Mary. Hilde Gerson, herself a fine weaver, was an exemplary craftsperson and volunteer for the the Crafts Association of BC. she and I became good friends during the early 80s, when Gail Rogers was the Executive Director, and we were all fundraising to move the CABC to Granville Island. The CABC became the Craft Council of BC in the 2000s.
Mary and I attended a 6-week residency at C.R.E.T.A. in Rome, September to November 2015. We shared the space with Irish American sculptor, Nuala Creed. Thank you to our generous and knowledgable hosts, Lori-Ann Touchette and Paolo Porelli,….[they are currently at Kansa City at the Red Star Studio, for their own residency]…We had a grand time with Nuala! and we are still shaking our heads….were we really in the Eternal City???
Debra would like to thank KENJI NAGI and GORAN BASARIC and TED CLARKE of ‘Image this Photographics Inc, for their beautiful images, and MATT TYAS for his photography of St Ives work and the traditional horse and rider tiles.
Debra Sloan is married to Terry Yip, with four children – all Sloan Yips – Isabel Evelyn [1985 ] Jasper Vandervoort  Maxwell Alexander  and Cooper Sills .