Artists of the Month – May 2018
Vijaya Morrison & Justina Penner
Vijaya has been a full-time Potter for over 47 years, and has owned Rainforest Pottery studio, showroom and limited company since 1983. Over the course of his career, he has had the privilege of exhibiting work at over 170 shows including Circle Craft in Vancouver for 26 consecutive years, as well as Out of Hand in Victoria, BC, Art Market in Calgary, AB, Signatures Craft Show in Edmonton, AB, American Craft Enterprises in Baltimore, MD, and the California Gift Show in Los Angeles, CA. He has recently taken part in Signatures “By Hand” fall wholesale shows in Toronto, Edmonton, and Vancouver, and the Toronto Flower and Garden Show.
Over the years Vijaya has taken a variety of specialized courses in British Columbia, Dallas, Texas, New York City, and as far away as Florence, Italy. He continues to explore new techniques and ideas through courses and events within the pottery community, and is currently exploring decorating with soluble metallic salts to produce water colour effects on high-fire porcelain.
Vijaya currently produces a full line of functional stoneware in both cone 6 oxidation and high-fire reduction. He also creates one-of-a-kind pieces in Raku, low fire salt and low-fire lustre ware. His pottery is predominantly hand-thrown, but production methods also include hand-building, slabbing, extruding, casting and ram-pressing.
Justina first came to Rainforest Pottery in 2004 to take pottery classes. Finding the endless possibilities and challenges of clay all absorbing, she stayed to serve an apprenticeship with Vijaya.
Justina’s commitment to clay has morphed from an apprenticeship into a studio and business partner at Rainforest Pottery.
Located in the picturesque community of Yarrow, BC, Rainforest Pottery has evolved into a teaching studio and gallery. To date, the studio has welcomed over 1000 students into its various clay programs with some of these students carrying on to set up their own studio businesses in the Fraser Valley.
The studio offers four, eight-week pottery throwing classes per year, plus a variety of shorter classes and clay experiences during the summer months. A popular, upcoming summer course is the Three-day Throwing Intensive experience to be held in August 2018. The last of the four, eight-week class sessions starts in the first week of September 2018. Classes often sell out a month early, so it is recommended that interested students register in July or early August to avoid disappointment.
All classes can accommodate eleven students. The eight-week series of wheel throwing classes costs $278.25 and includes 25 pounds of clay and applicable taxes. All tools, firings and glazes are included as well. All students need to bring is an old towel to wipe their hands and refrain from wearing rings (they can get lost in the clay!).
All beginners are welcome! The classes are a mixture of returning and beginning students, as the team finds that combining the skill levels works best. Everyone works at their own pace, and there are demonstrations and one-on-one help. Beginners will make eight to ten pieces in a series, starting with bowls then moving to mugs. Once the students learn the basics they can explore making more advanced items such as teapots, plates, and vases.
Raku in the Valley – Pottery Glazing and Firing
The Rainforest Pottery duo will once again be sharing their passion and expertise with participants and observers alike at this year’s Raku in the Valley event on Saturday, May 26th. Join us in Thompson Regional Park (Chilliwack Lake Rd.) from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to celebrate the fascinating art of Raku and watch these talented potters in action during the lively firing process. Reserve your spot and learn more by visiting the event page on chilliwackartscouncil.com.