Go Gators

MY STORY

I completed my BFA at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary Alberta Canada.  If you've never heard of ACAD you should really check it out, it has everything; all the normal stuff like painting, drawing and printmaking, along with media arts and digital technologies, design, photography and most importantly the Crafts. ACAD sees the importance and to be honest the awesomeness of Craft, it has outstanding departments in Ceramics, Glass, Fiber and Jewellery and Metals, as well as a rock star faculty in the studio and in liberal studies that really provide students with a solid foundation in the Crafts.

 

While at ACAD I had the great opportunity to spend a semester on exchange at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland.  I fully took advantage of my time in Scotland to travel and take in as much ceramic culture and history as I could.  

Nearing graduation from ACAD I was unsure of what my next steps in ceramics should be, I knew I wasn't ready for Grad school and I also wasn't ready to try and set up my own studio, lucky for me I had an awesome teacher that advised me to apply for a Post-baccalaureate program.  After she explained what a post-bacc program was (1 year part time/ mostly independent studies that’s sort of situated between the undergrads and grads) I decided that's what I wanted to do next.  I applied to a couple of schools and got into the University of Florida. A the time I wasn't really all that sure about going to UF, It was a big giant university in the US and Gainesville has a climate almost the exact opposite of Calgary.

I decided to go despite the weather and I'm super glad I did. I'm going to be honest; I LOVED Gainesville and the University of Florida, I had a great time and would highly recommend it. 

After moving back to Canada I set up a studio in the milk house of my family's dairy barn. I had everything I needed but a soda kiln... since my second year at ACAD I have always fired high temperature stoneware usually in a soda kiln.  I decided (more out of necessity then choice really) to try out earthenware for a while; it is slow going because I've never used it before not even at UF when I had Linda Arbuckle as a teacher.  

I was back in Canada for about a year before I took off again, this time to Red Lodge Clay center in Red Lodge Montana.  I spent 2 months in the mountains of Red Lodge, Montana making pots full time.  I was finally able to fire a soda kiln again, I mainly focused on making high temperature stoneware soda pots... I had missed it so much, I was also able to experiment with low temperature earthenware soda.  I had an amazing experience in Red Lodge, the people, the studio, the kilns and the town are all amazing.  

I moved to Ottawa in 2013 where I started managing several paint your own pottery studios that are honestly the reason my work is so colourful these days, it was hard to be around that much underglaze everyday without trying it out own my own pots.  A lot has changed since I moved here in 2013, my work drastically changed, got married and had 2 sons with my wife Ashley.  in 2018 I had the crazy idea that I should run a workshop in Ottawa and somehow the idea grew to New Clay Conference and I ran the first one in 2019 and the 2020 edition has been postponed a couple of times and will hopefully be able to run in 2022.  After 6 years of manging 3 paint your own pottery studios I decided a change was needed and I started on a masonry apprenticeship with a great company that focused on restoration.  As much as I enjoyed masonry I left my apprenticeship in 2020 to take on the role of Executive Director of the Gloucester Pottery School, it was pretty much my dream job and I couldn't say no to the opportunity.  The school just celebrated it's 30th anniversary and I look forward to seeing what the school can accomplish in it's next 30 years.   Last fall we purchased our first home in the cutest town ever Merrickville, a little town south of the city.