260 Fingers – 15th annual ceramic exhibition and sale

Group photo of 260 Fingers artists. Photo: Simon Wingar

By Maureen Marcotte

Just as the farm-to-table movement shows us where our food comes from and how it is grown, handmade pottery urges us to consider the story behind the objects we hold in our hands. It is a story about processes, materials and  individual artist’s skills and creativity as they express themselves through clay.

To join in a conversation with 26 ceramic artists and learn more about their relationship with clay, come to 260 Fingers at the Glebe Community Centre from November 8 to 10. For the 15th consecutive year, 26 of the most accomplished ceramic artists from Ontario and Quebec are converging to exhibit and sell some of the most innovative and inspiring clay work being produced in the region. The breadth and calibre of this invitational show is recognized as unique in both provinces and features work from functional to sculptural, wood-fired to electric-fired, subtle to highly decorative.

On Friday, November 8, from 6 to 9 p.m., the gorgeous, domed atrium of the Glebe Community Centre will open its doors to visitors eager to be among the first to view and purchase this year’s new work. Open to everyone, the vernissage is a vibrant celebration of ceramic work complete with music, food, drink and lively conversation. The show continues Saturday, November 9 and Sunday, November 10 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The artists are always available for discussions and with such a wide range of work and artistic practice, visitors often have questions. There are also guided tours both Saturday and Sunday during which artists talk about their work and techniques.

In addition to the solid core of accomplished potters that have made 260 Fingers such an eagerly anticipated event, eight new guest artists will be adding to the excitement with their best new work. 260 Fingers is different every year, but there is one thing that doesn’t change: the excellence of the craftsmanship and the vibrant atmosphere of an inspired artistic community that comes together to celebrate and talk about clay.

Jug by Ottawa’s Jen Drysdale. Photo by Richard Skrobecki

This year, among the 26 participating artists, seven are potters who fire with wood, a laborious and risky method that can result in spectacular yet subtle vessels. We are thrilled to welcome guest artists Bruce Cochrane and Tony Clennell, both well-known teachers and veteran wood firers. Also in this group are Heather Smit, Anne Creskey, Andrew Kellner, Jen Drysdale and John Ikeda. Wood firing is part wild risk-taking and part stubbornness as it can take days to load the kiln with the pots in strategic places, and days and nights to feed wood into the fire to produce the complex interactions between clay, flame, ashes and salts. The results can be pure, poetic magic.

260 Fingers is a free event. For more information, please email 260talentedfingers@gmail.com or call Maureen Marcotte at 819-459-3164.

Participating artists for 2019 are members Anne Creskey, Bill Reddick, Carolynne Pynn-Trudeau, Chandler Swain, Cynthia O’Brien, Don Goddard, Heather Smit, Jen Drysdale, John Ikeda, Leta and Don Cormier, Maria Moldovan, Maureen Marcotte, Reid Flock, Rita Redner, Saskia Praamsma, Susie Osler, Teresa Wingar and guests Bruce Cochrane,Tony Clennell, Andrew Kellner, Terri MacDonald, Patrick Yeung, Michelle Mendlowitz, Marney McDiarmid, and Janet Keefe. To see more about their work visit 260fingers.ca; Facebook: facebook.com/260Fingers/; Twitter: twitter.com/260Fingers or Instagram: www.instagram.com/260Fingers.

Maureen Marcotte  is one of the organizers of 260 Fingers.

260 Fingers
Ceramic Show & Sale
Saturday, November 9 and
Sunday, November 10, 10 a.m.-5.p.m.
Opening/Vernissage
Friday, November 8, 6-9 p.m.
Glebe Community Centre
175 Third Avenue

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