Artist of the Month – November
Deb Olsen was born in the Canadian Prairies, has wandered in the Rockies, played in the Pacific and, recently, spent a couple of years, roaming the Maritime Provinces. In her travels, Olsen has discovered extremely breathtaking beauty which she has attempted to infuse into her clay forms and their surfaces. She wants her art to go home with you and share in the everyday joys and sorrows of life itself.
In the winter of 1990, Olsen joined her friends in a “girls’ night out” experience which consisted of pottery classes at the Athabasca River Potters Guild. It was one of her first steps in a lifelong quest to have clay, and it’s finished surfaces, bend to her will. As her children grew, she committed herself to a twenty-year plan of working clay full time when the kids were done high school. When that day arrived, she realized that she was undereducated, lacking skills in all areas including business. So, she went off to New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton, NB.
In the spring of 2015, Olsen earned, with honours, a Diploma in Fine Craft: Ceramics from New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton, NB. She received scholarships from the British Columbia Arts Council and the Chilliwack Community Arts Council. The New Brunswick Arts Board awarded her The Charlotte Glenncross Scholarship for Excellence in Design. Her work has been exhibited across Canada.
Fall of 2015 found Olsen in the heart of the Fraser Valley setting up a home and a studio. She has built a raku kiln which also fires her saggars with ease. She embraces the intensity of heat and fire, when she pulls the red hot pots from the kiln. This is followed by joyful dread as the lids get lift from the cooled reduction bins and saggars. The same speculation is present, as she designs her functional line of pots, working the fine tuning of glazes in an electric kiln at cone 6.
“I see, hear and smell… the straight tall trees of Vancouver Island, the churning clouds of a winter storm, the piercing line of the prairie horizon next to the jagged sketch of the Rocky Mountains, the whirling crash of the waters on the shore, the snatching lift of flames making ash… these push me into the rhythm of clay, turning it into objects that will partake in the everyday rituals of life. This is my chance to aim to be like God without stepping into blasphemy… I choose to “make.”
Learn more about Deb and Fieldstone Pottery by visiting: fieldstonepottery.blogspot.ca.
*Deb Olsen of Fieldstone Pottery will return as one of the many passionate artisans showcasing their talent and expertise at our 43rd Annual Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market! Be sure to join us, and visit her booth to find your own special piece of pottery, from November 17 to 19, 2017 at Chilliwack Heritage Park. Holly jolly shopping awaits…