Studio: Sheila Caplan
188 Sheraton Drive
Montreal West, Quebec
I have always enjoyed working with my hands, but since that first wheel class back in the mid 1970's, my fascination with clay has continued to grow. For me, it is the ultimate experience in creating something from nothing. To take a lump of mud, and fashion an attractive, useful and durable object, that gives pleasure to both the creator and the user, is tremendously satisfying.
In addition to my lines of Judaica (ceremonial ware used for Jewish holiday and ritual observances) and functional pottery, I have been spending more time on decorative work, using a cone 6 porcelain. Focusing on bottle forms, I have been using a crackle glaze, accented with a metallic black for trim. My current interest in smoke firing has led to burnished pots, exploring the various effects of different materials used in the firings. In all my work, it is the forms that attract me. I am drawn to shapes that are classic in nature, and to those that invite the viewer to hold and feel their contour. Decoratively, the glaze or smoking is subdued, to enhance the form and not distract from it.
What I find most intriguing about working with clay are these two paradoxes: using a medium whose origins are ancient, while constantly creating things that are new and different; and, the nature of clay itself, it's durability and fragility - it can endure for centuries yet is so instantly perishable. The variables of clay bodies, raw materials for glazes, glaze formulas and firing techniques, guarantee infinite combinations, and keep the novelty and thrill from ending.
1976-81 Saidye Bronfman Centre School of Fine Arts, Ceramics Department
1980-now Many workshops and courses with professional potters
1968-72 McGill University, Bachelor of Occupational Therapy
2003 "Bowls" Invitational Exhibition, Gardiner Museuem of Ceramic
Art, Toronto, ON
2003 1001 POTS, Val David, QC
2003 Baie d'Urfé Potters Guild, Baie d'Urfé, QC
2002 FUSION Pottery & Glass Sale, Toronto, ON
2002 Clay Display, Merrickville, ON
2001 Salon des Métiers d'Art, Montreal, QC
2001 Art Etc., Montreal West, QC
1999 Askenartz Festival, Toronto
1998 Association of Jewish Artists, Montreal