Artistic Statement/Bio/CV

Artist Statement

Working with clay is an incredibly rewarding escape from the pace and demands of a busy life. The creative process is unending in its complexity and lessons.
For the past 17 years, I have been developing my voice in clay. What began with a summer course to "get out of the house once a week" became a 3 year stay at a local pottery studio. By the fourth year, I had purchased a wheel and a kiln and started my own studio. In general, I am inspired by things to do with my family such as the places we have visited and the heritage of my ancestors. To that end, I have created pots ranging from iconic colors and shapes associated with Scotland and Ireland, to lace and flowers and to the colors of the ocean and the beach. In every case, these spaces, times and people inspired me to throw all of my ideas and skills into creating pots that embodied all that I felt, remembered and experienced there and then.

Professional development, through workshops, conferences, events and visits to studios and shops all filter into my work, often through careful experimentation but always through creative inspiration and interpretation. Like any artist, ideas, designs, skill and opportunity comes in waves. The work I create reflects that ability to carve out a place for my art in amongst all of the other things I do with my time, some years more than others. As the clay itself will tell you, you can't rush it, a motto for daily life!

Bio

I come from a family of creative minds!
I received a Bachelor of Arts (Hons. Psychology) from Carleton University and went on to receive a Bachelor of Education from the University of Ottawa. Teaching and then taking time off to begin our family meant that a creative outlet was in order. First came the study of watercolour techniques and then along came clay. Both have intersected more than once in my artistic career, each leading discoveries that worked with the other and creating a personal expression in both mediums.

I have been working with clay now for seventeen years, amassing ideas and inspiration through courses/workshops/seminars given by the City of Ottawa, the Ottawa Guild of Potters, Fusion Clay and Glass Assoc. and the National Council for Education on the Ceramic Arts (Providence, RI and Pittsburgh, PA). I have served on the Ottawa Guild of Potters Executive as VP, President and Past President and coordinated the giving of charitable donations on behalf of the OPG at sales for 10 years. In 2006, I orchestrated the OGP's presence at the Canadian Tulip Festival in Ottawa and, in 2009, helped organize and install the OGP ’s 30th Anniversary exhibition, "Symphony", at the Craft Ontario Gallery, Toronto. The greatest project of my career in clay to date, "Populace", began in 2016, culminating in 2017 with a 9000 ceramic sculpture installation, for which I served as Project Coordinator. My work, both functional and sculptural, is found in private collections in Canada and abroad.

Qualifications

Courses and workshops in functional ceramics (began summer 2000, ongoing)

BA Psychology 1989, BEd (cum laude)1990

Memberships

FUSION, the Ontario Clay and Glass Association

National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts (NCECA)

Ottawa Guild of Potters

Workshops and Conferences

NCECA, Pittsburgh, March 13-18, 2018

FUSION workshop with Chandra Debuse, Oct 21-22, 2017

Demonstration Workshop with Tom Jasczczak, Ottawa, August 18-19, 2017

Demonstration workshop with Martha Grover, Kingston, 2016

NCECA, Rhode Island, March 24-28, 2015

Decal printing with Arthur Petch, Ottawa - Private lesson, February 2015

Surface Decoration workshop with Chris Sneddon, Ottawa, September 20, 2014

Animal Sculptures with Susan Halls, Ottawa, October 5-6, 2013

Demonstration workshop with Steve Irvine, Nepean, February 2012

FUSION conference with Robin Hopper, North Bay, May 2005

Tile Decoration Workshop with Carolynne Pynn-Trudeau, February 1, 2003

Cone 6 Glazing with Anne Chambers, Nepean, Feb 8, 2003

Handbuilding Workshop with Chandler Swain, May 2003

Demonstration Workshop with Lois Romanow, "Do What You Love, Love What You Do", Dunrobin, Jan 27-28, 2001

Activities and Functions

Served as Ottawa Guild of Potters VP, President, Past President from 2005-2010

Charitable Donations Coordinator, Ottawa Guild of Potters, 2005-2013

Co-created and coordinated OGP Clay Olympics (October 21, 2007 and June 22, 2013)

Proposed and coordinated the OGP at the Canadian Tulip Festival, Major's Hill Park, Spring 2006

Coordinated and installed "Symphony", an OGP Juried Exhibition in Toronto at the Ontario Crafts Council Gallery (May 7-31, 2009)

Coordinator - ‘Populace’, Ottawa Guild of Potters, Ottawa, 2016-2018

Teaching

‘Populace’ workshops and demonstrations:

Ottawa Guild of Potters sale- Public Populace making event. Ottawa, April 28-30

Canadian Museum of Nature, April 4

West Carleton SS, All Saints CHS, Ecole Secondaire De La Salle, Loam, Ottawa, Nov 2016 - March 2017

City Hall, Ottawa, and Opeongo HS, Douglas, February 2017

Loam, Gloucester Pottery School, De La Salle HS, Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa and Kingston Pottery Guild, Kingston, January 2017

Loam, December 2017

Gladstone Clayworks, Loam, Canadian Museum of Nature, November 2017

Linda Northey Studio, Dunrobin, September and October 2017

Workshops for the West Carleton Home School Co-Operative, Dunrobin, Feb 28 & March 6, 2008

Workshops for March Academy, Kanata, June 2007, Jan 2008, April 2015

Group Exhibitions

‘Populace at Home’ – Dust Evans Gallery, Ottawa, October 21-December 13, 2017

Celebrating Clay – ‘It's All About the Wings' - Gallerie Côté Créations, Ottawa, November 1-30, 2017

‘Populace’ – Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, June 17- September 9. 2017

Ottawa Guild of Potters Juried Spring Exhibition, Ottawa, May 22-24, 2016

Awards

Ontario 150 grant of $10,000 on behalf of the Ottawa Guild of Potters for ‘Populace’, February 2017

ACHIP grant of $12,000 on behalf of the Ottawa Guild of Potters for ‘Populace’, September 2016

Bibliography

O Canada! A celebration of 150 years, Joan Weinman and Kimothy Walker, 2017, page 133.

“Honoring History” – Ceramic Review, Sept/Oct 2017

“The making of Populace: A Bold Ceramic Art Installation for Canada’s 150th Celebrations, Kim Lulashnyk- Fusion Magazine, September 2017 Vol.41 No.2

“Snapshot in Time: Ottawans Asked to Help Fill City Time Capsule with 2017 Mementos”, Erin McCracken, Nepean Barrhaven News, Metroland Media, August 30, 2017

“Le Tre Anime (in Fiore) Del Canada”, Georgia Tasso, IO Donna, Milan, August 5, 2017

“Nancy Riggs of the Glebe and Annu and Maya Chopra from Barrhaven help install thousands of ceramic feathers, roses and fleurs-de-lis…” –Nepean-Barrhaven News, Metroland Media, June 22, 2017

“Canada 150 pottery Exhibit Celebrates Canada’s Cultures During Confederation”, Lauren Malyk – Ottawa Citizen, June 19, 2017

News and Views with Rob Snow - Rob Snow, (Host), Interview with Kim Lulashnyk, Ottawa, On:580 CFRA Talk Radio, June 19, 2017

“Populace 2017 Pour Canada 150”, Barbara Laurenstein (Reporter) – Le tele journal CBC. French television report and interview, 16 juin, 2017

“82-hundred ceramic flowers are waiting to be installed at the Museum of Nature” – Radio series episode- All in a Day with Alan Neal, Ottawa, ON: CBC Radio One, 91.5 FM, April 28, 2017

“Making Pottery Pieces for Populace Project”, Michele Leboldus - West Carleton Review, Ottawa , April 27, 2017

“Potters Set to Plant Tribute to Founders”, Natalie Rocha - Centretown News, Ottawa, April 11, 2017

“Capital Fun: 150 things to do in Ottawa for Canada’s 150th Birthday” – Canada Altitude Report, March 20, 2017

“Potters Heat Up a Different Kind of Ottawa 2017 Celebration”, Michelle Nash Baker – Ottawa Community News, March 6, 2017

“Making a Community Celebration Installation” - The Potters Cast with Paul Blais – episode 287, January 26, 2017

Monday, July 15

Greenware Porn, Part Deux







Post script: The finished work. It was glazed to reflect the fact that water is a big part of the lives of the two who received these pieces - my nephew and his wife! I am calling this design, "Water's 
Edge".


Greenware Porn

I've always loved the purity of unglazed pots. You might call it "Greenware Porn" in the same way that people who love libraries post pictures of beautiful spaces filled with exotic books resting on rich mahogany shelves steeped in the history of some ancient royal family. Says a lot for them and their penchant for knowledge. Not quite the same for me though. It's just the quietness and perfection of not yet tainted pots that makes me happy. I can't seem to post any pics at the moment, but if you'd like to take a look at what I've made recently (still in its pristine greenware state), head over to my Facebook page for a peek. ;)

Saturday, May 4

New Commissions

Finally, I'm back in the studio again this week, working on 5 commissions. Skye is once again up and running which feels really good. I am making cream/sugar sets, platters, yarn bowls, serving bowls and mugs for a few different people/stores. I had forgotten how to make lids for sugar bowls. Ah! However, 10 lids later, I think I've got it again. In fact, the finished products (pics to come in a week or 2) should be quite lovely.

Friday, April 5

A little prize I donated to ORAPEX for the "One Frame" Grand Award in May 2013. Good luck to everyone exhibiting!

Tuesday, April 2

2013 - A new challenge

This spring I took on a new challenge - a big commission. At the moment, nothing has been signed, so I can't really tell you much about it. What I can do is share with you an image from the bid and I will update the blog once any decision has been made. So exciting!!!!

Update: Well, the commission fell through, sad to say. However, I now own all rights to these lovely cups and have other plans for them now. So, it's all good!


It's Been a While (again)

Where does the time go? And why has it been so long since I last posted? Who knows! I'm here again though and have a lot to catch up on with this blog.

Since my last post about New Summerfruit and that whole series, I've made some lovely pieces with entirely different designs. You never know what can inspire you as an artist and sometimes the ideas are so numerous that you don't know where to begin! So, let's just jump in!

If you have read through my blog, you'll know how connected I am to my roots. My Scottish and Irish ancestors who left their homes in the isles and came to Canada back at the turn of the last century still echo in the pieces I make. Skye is a perfect example of that. So too, in 2011, are the translucent luminarias and pendants which are stamped with the symbol of the triskele, a symbol for me and for many of the Trinity. It predates 3200 BC and is carved on the curb stones at Newgrange, a neolithic passage tomb located north of Dublin, Ireland. (For more on Newgrange, check out:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Newgrange) I had some fun with a translucent clay which, if thin enough, can show light through the body of the clay. Impressing the clay with stamps of the triskele that I made using images I took when I was at Newgrange worked out very nicely. I also made pendants using the stamp and I added a touch of gold. Happy with that too!

Translucent Luminarias


 Newgrange Pendant

So, after the snow of winter set in, it was time to think about the next spring show. The next pieces were inspired by The Ottawa Tulip Festival, an annual event here in our capital that brings millions (?) to Ottawa to see the beautiful beds of tulips in bloom. The festival acknowledges the Canadian government for sheltering the Dutch royal family during the war. In return the Netherlands give tulip bulbs to Canada every year as a thank-you for their friendship in time of need. The story of this event is well written on the Tulip Festival website: www.tulipfestival.ca. I love tulips and having them as my subject was so refreshing in the dreary days of winter.

 Tulips - Spring 2012

I also had fun making a little "Sneak Preview" movie for my Facebook pottery page, "Kirstin Davidson Pottery".


Which brings me to the last show I did with the guild in November 2012. We had been to our favourite place on earth - Martha's Vineyard. I don't know what it is about a place that makes you feel a home. But, whatever it is, we find it on the Vineyard. We have spent some beautiful days there with our kids, walking along the beach, lazing on a deck chair watching the boats drift by, taking in fireworks that boom so loud that you feel them in your chest. I wouldn't trade those days for anything. So this fall I tried to capture a little piece of that feeling in my exhibit, "Message in a Bottle".
  

 

I used the colours of the beach in this collection - blue, sandy beige, cream, grey, green and even red-brown. I had fun with shapes of bottles, from small 3" wee bottles to larger 12" urns. Some of them were the right size and fit for corks. Others weren't so lucky. Displaying new work as always part of the fun for me too. My Mother-in-law had a number of old wooden crates and boxes, so I set-up the bottles as if they were on a loading dock. I borrowed starfish and old floats and liberally sprinkled in shells, rocks and sea glass from our trips. It was a full story represented in the work. Sometimes, the work really and truly reflects the message. It still makes me very happy to look back on that exhibit (even if the vintage Crown Cork and Seal Company crate was used upside down).



Which brings us to 2013 and, yet again, new work. That will be the next post!

Ottawa Food Bank Donation

"May You Never Hunger, May You Never Thirst"

Each year, the Ottawa Food Bank holds a recognition luncheon for their major sponsors. In 2011, members of our Guild were invited to donate presentation plates made for the occasion. It was an honour to make 10 plates with the massage, "May You Never Hunger, May You Never Thirst" and to have them presented to 10 generous organizations and individuals.