FUSION: The Ontario Clay and Glass Association

CONFERENCE PRESENTERS: Sarah Pike and Thomas Aitken

Saturday & Sunday, June 10-11

Sarah Pike – Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11, 2017

Sarah Pike is a full time potter living in Fernie, British Colombia. She makes slab built functional ware in her home studio on an acre of land at the edge of a little ski town.

Sarah is inspired by many things including the landscape surrounding her home, the rich history of ceramics, as well as antique tinware, textured metal, and old things you might find in barns. Sarah often uses found objects to enhance her work. After a day of making large pots, Sarah says she enjoys going in the opposite direction and building some small pieces. She says, “Scoops and funnels are fun to make and added strips of leather add a warm, rustic look.”

She majored in ceramics at the Alberta College of Art and Design, after which she went on to Colorado University and then the University of Minnesota. Along the way she started a family, lived in a barn, and helped run her husband’s family ranch.

Sarah enjoys pottery that conveys personality and a slight air of attitude. Her pots are never quite symmetrical, and she believes they lean just a bit toward animation. She says, “I like this static sense of energy in pottery. It evokes the plastic nature of clay in its raw form, and the movement associated with the pots intended use. It reflects our beauty and awkward imperfections; imperfections that celebrate the handmade object over mass-produced industrial ware.”

Sarah's Website

Thomas Aitken – Saturday and Sunday, June 10-11, 2017

Thomas Aitken has lived and worked across Canada. He was born in Summerside, PEI and raised in Toronto, Ontario. He started his ceramic studies in Alberta at Red Deer College and completed his BFA: Ceramics at the Nova Scotia College of Art & Design. His interest in European ceramic traditions led him to study in he U.K. where he completed his MFA: Ceramics at the University of Wales Institute Cardiff. In 1997 he returned to Canada and set up a studio in downtown Toronto.

Five years later he moved his home and studio to the village of Warsaw, near Peterborough, Ontario. Here he continues to work full time developing his own work and collaborating on projects with his wife Kate Hyde. Throughout his training and professional life Thomas has maintained an interest in the design and creation of functional objects for use in the domestic sphere. He believes a pot is properly finished when it is in use in someone's home.

Thomas' website

FUSION gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Citizenship, Culture and Recreation, and the Ontario Arts Council. The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario. 


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