Sheryl Willson

Sheryl Willson

Sheryl graduated from Capilano College, North Vancouver, in 1988 with a diploma in Graphic Design and Visual Communications.

In 2000 Sheryl went back to school to study Fine Art at Langara College in Vancouver, where she developed a love for clay. In 2004 she and her husband moved to Sorrento and set up a full time pottery business.

Sheryl has explored a wide variety of forms and glazes that give her pottery a dynamic feel.

“I enjoy creating objects that celebrate life.”

They can be functional or simply beautiful, but what I want is for them to be inspiring and uplifting. I have a great appreciation for the affect that one’s visual surroundings have on one’s state of mind. This belief inspires me to surround myself with things that feed my soul. It also inspires me to make things that bring me joy as I create them, and in turn, I hope that they’ll bring joy to those who use them.

My main line of work is domestic pottery but I like to play with sculpture and decorative pieces as well. Either way, I make things that have lots of room for exploration within their form, decoration and glaze, creating families of objects that celebrate differences yet gel as sets.

When I make pots for the kitchen and serving, I aim to design wares that are at once both functional and aesthetically pleasing. I find it exciting when these two elements are balanced and the beauty of a piece enhances it’s usefulness.

Mark Hemmingson

Pottery began later in life for me. I graduated from UBC in 1989 with a major in Creative Writing, and a minor in Anthropology. I spent nine years in the social services including community work and employment counselling in the Vancouver area.

In 1995 I started a stained glass company called, Red Herring Art Glass. For the next ten years I created windows for homes in the lower mainland, and for pubs across Canada and the US.

“I discovered clay in 2004 when we moved to Sorrento.”

In the beginning I was going to work in glass and help Sheryl get her studio started. But, it didn’t take long to see how much there was to do to turn our two car garage into a proper studio. Soon I found myself building shelves, fixing kilns, mixing glazes, making tools, rolling out slabs of clay, and eventually sitting down at the potter’s wheel.

I started with small bowls, and gradually worked my way through the various shapes and sizes. As I took on new shapes I began to appreciate the variety of objects that can come from a simple ball of clay.

One thing I like about clay is that it can easily be re-used if the pot doesn’t turn out. There is a great freedom in knowing that mistakes are part of how I learn. On a new item I might throw half my pots into the recycle bin as I learn to create the form. I think of the first ones as sketches that allow me to see the dimensions I’m aiming for. I also enjoy making the same shape over and over. To some this may seem tedious, but I like working on one thing for a day or two, getting to know it better as I go. There may be forty or more items when I’m done, but, to me, I’ve been creating and refining the same piece all along.

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