Monday, 17 September 2012

Heart & Hand: Meet Potter Sally Pfeiffer

Meet potter and pottery instructor Sally Pfeiffer.  We ask Sally what it is about pottery that excites and inspires her.   
1.  Why Pottery? What is it about this art form that excites you most?

 What excites me about pottery is that I can make something that is beautiful, creative as well as functional at the same time. For example, I have tulip goblettes. Can you imagine drinking a glass of white wine out of a tulip? Or imagine a bud vase that looks like leaves are growing out of it!

2.  How did you get your start? Do you remember the first piece you made?

I got my start through the Waterloo Potters' Workshop Guild. I went to one of their sales at the Waterloo Recreation Centre, picked up a business card and took my first class. My first piece was a vase that went wonky and was super bottom heavy! It's now in the home of a friend who loved the blue glaze decoration!

3.  What is the most difficult aspect of creating with clay

The most difficult aspect of working with clay is working on the wheel and getting it centred in the middle. Once you learn this foundational skill, the rest is smooth sailing!

4.  Can anyone learn to create with clay?

You don't have to be super artistic to learn to create with clay! Clay is wonderfully impressionable, there are so many ways to create interesting texture using found objects, fabrics and stamps. This coating of glaze that gets applied then plays with this texture in the firing process - chemical reactions by the high heat of the kiln produce fascinating, colourful results! I lead my students with step-by-step guided projects until they have the building blocks to create their own projects. No one leaves my classes without a ceramic piece to be proud of!
5.  What’s next for you?  Any large projects you are looking forward to tackling?
I'm looking forward to going bigger in the next year. Creating pieces focusing even more on sculpture "meeting" function in my work.

To learn more about ongoing pottery classes taught by Sally please go to
Watch as Sally works on the potting wheel. This short clip was taken at last years Heart & Hand Festival!

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