Meet the Maker: Pottery by Birgit
Pottery is one of those things that I'm guessing is as difficult as it looks! How did you first get into it? What tips do you have for others wanting to give it a go?
Go in with a good attitude, and don’t be too hard on yourself it you don’t make an entire dinner set your first day! Japanese masters say it takes 7 years just to learn to center the clay! As an instructor, I have found that the students who have the most success are the ones that follow the instructions.
How would you say you technique and style has changed over the years?
What are some of the biggest challenges with pottery? Can a lot of different things go wrong?
I am the most impatient person around, so my biggest challenge is slowing down. I used to rush every step and had lots of things blow up in the kiln because they were not dry enough to be fired. Now that I am older and wiser, I have slowed right down and have a much higher success rate.
How important is the type of clay you use?
With so many possibilities of an end result how do you ensure each item in a set looks like it is part of a set?
How do different glazes create different end results?
Glazing is an area of endless possibilities. They can be translucent, opaque, shiny, matte, runny... and they can be combined to create new colors! Experimenting and testing glazes is a huge part of the process and enormous fun - you never quite know what you're going to get!
What items have you found to be most popular with your customers?
Do you have your own studio you work from?
I grew up on the West Coast of Canada, which is where I met my husband. We moved to Edmonton almost 25 years ago, when our two sons were small. I LOVE the Canadian prairies. Big, blue, open skies and loads of space. Besides pottery, I love hiking in the Rockies, walking our dog in Edmonton’s lovely river valley, and playing Scrabble. Our younger son is currently studying in Ireland, and our eldest son recently got engaged. My next project is making an entire dinner set for the wedding! I guess I had better get started...