The stages in ceramics creation...

 

My fascination with clay officially started with a course at the Gardiner Museum.  To be able to take soft clay from the earth and handcraft it into the form of a comforting mixing bowl with soothing colours and textures completely absorbed my attention.  I am attracted to the tactile nature of the clay; whether through throwing, handbuilding, coiling or carving the clay forces me to tune out the world and focus on design and creation. As someone who struggled with attention difficulties, this was a whole new world for me. The joy is in the making, the throwing, the choices. Each step of the process has its own rewards for me. The speed of the wheel is exhilarating as is the skill needed to form that perfect mixing bowl. Once out of the bisque firing, pieces offer themselves up as blank canvases needing clean lines and smooth surfaces in the glaze application. Finally, opening a finished glaze kiln is like opening a gift.

Truth be told, the real beginning of my explorations of mud began on the beaches of Manitoulin Island. As a product of multi-generational Canadian parents (one from Manitoulin Island and one from the GTA) I bring to my work a strong sense of attachment to the land. Whether it is through creating pieces showing a striated clay body or through the choice of natural glaze tones I strive to reflect the strength and beauty of the Canadian Shield in each piece. The geology and history of Canada inspire me to provide pieces that are timeless, rugged, beautiful and functional, a tribute to our pioneering history and the strength and endurance of a people living in a breathtakingly stunning, challenging land. I choose to work in stoneware because its high density provides each item with endurance and exceptional thermal qualities; it is more practical than precious. My plates and bowls keep soups and stews warm or salads and crudités cool; they are practical pieces that add beauty and create a connection to others while serving our daily needs.

Campbell Ceramics