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 20 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!


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 twenty-three 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.


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

BA Psychology 1989, BEd (Cum Laude) 1990


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

Chair, Ottawa Guild of Potters 50th Anniversary Scholarship 2023

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


‘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

Lynda 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


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


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

Wednesday, January 15

This One Is Personal

Alfred James McCabe
June 5, 1936 - November 5, 2018
A few of years ago I had an unsettling conversation with my parents while in my studio. They commented on some large vases I had just finished, saying how nice the shapes were and how lovely the glazes. In fact, they liked them enough to commission "something like that" for their cremation urns. I had all sorts of emotional responses to that, not the least of which was that this would be far off in the future and something I wouldn't have to really think too much about anytime soon. How wrong I was.

On November 5th, 2018, my father passed away. He had been undergoing treatment for a pre-leukemia condition. What appeared to be gastro troubles, which responded to medication, were more likely signs of the beginning of heart failure. He checked himself into hospital on November 1st and was told only hours later that his heart was damaged beyond repair, his vital organs showed signs they were failing and that anyone who wished to see him should come immediately. Our family spent the next 4 days trying to make the best of those last few moments of Dad's life with him while he was able. By Saturday night he had spoken to his children, grandchildren and his brother before slipping into a semi-sleep from which he would never awake. We slept by his bed in the ICU, taking turns guarding his vitals and calling for clarification on every small change in his condition. He was moved to another bed in another wing when it was clear that he no longer needed the life-saving care provided in the ICU. We sat, talked of family times, took turns resting and talking to Dad, holding his hand and telling him how much we loved him. At 3:30 on Monday morning, November 5th, 2018, my Dad took his final breaths, peacefully slipping away from us. The depth of our family's loss is not describable in words, so I will let the work that I promised my Dad speak for itself.

Dad was a water resource engineer in his professional life. He had worked for private industry as well as for the Canadian Government. He was a generous man with his time and expertise. His faith was strong and his love for his family perhaps even stronger. 

In the days and months following his death I tried to get myself together in order to make the urn, his perpetual home. The responsibility weighed heavily. I could not get this wrong no matter how proud of me he would be regardless of how it turned out. No, that wasn't good enough for me. It had to have meaning, message, love, consideration, skill, precision, intention...perfection. In the late spring of 2019 inspiration struck. I don't remember anymore when or why or what prompted it but it doesn't matter anymore anyway. What you see below is an image of one of the last projects Dad worked on before he retired: the John Compton Dam in St. Lucia. One of the backstories of the dam that makes this project so memorable is that the area surrounding the Roseau Rover is where a particular parrot breeds. Building the dam brought concerns over whether the breeding grounds would be negatively impacted and the parrot population would decline. Instead, the exact opposite happened; they thrived. 

The dam itself is made up of 5 ripple layers that cause the water to sheet over them like billowing curtains. This is one of the most lovely aspects of the dam and is what I chose to appropriate for Dad's urn, creating one ripple for each of Dad's 7 grandchildren. 

I know he would have loved it. "Hey Kid, that's something, isn't it? Holy wow!" I can hear him in my head so clearly. Thank goodness for that.

Love always Dad. I miss you. XO

The John Compton Dam, St. Lucia, one of Dad's final projects in water resources, served as inspiration for his urn. The ridges are replicated on the shoulder of the urn and the cascade of water runs over them. Dad was a Civil Engineer specializing in water resource infrastructure. 
7 ridges for 7 grandchildren

A "pool of water" on the lid to honour his work in water treatment

Tuesday, August 28

When you create something epic... "COMPASS" showcases the sculptures from our historic "Populace" project in a newly designed installation for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, 50 Sussex Drive. It places the importance of our Indigenous community at the heart of it all with over 2800 ceramic feathers, and adds 195 birds, 1 for every nation in the world today, to represent all those who have come to call Canada home. For more information, follow this link:

Tuesday, August 1


POPULACE at the Canadian Museum of Nature

I've been absent from my blog for well over a year now but with very good reason. I've been involved in the biggest ceramic project of my career - POPULACE. It began as a proposal to Ottawa 2017, and a grant from the Arts, Culture and Heritage Investment Program. Our original estimate of 7,350 pieces turned into 9000, each individually hand crafted, fired and glazed then mounted on steel rods. Our site partner, the Canadian Museum of Nature, provided not only the land for the installation but also the manpower to daily patrol the garden, and gardeners (grass cutters) to maintain the paths between the beds.

2000 Canadians, some of whom were new to our country, participated in over 50 workshops in a 10 month period. We delighted in sharing the project with people who work with clay on a regular basis and those who do not. Students, adults, seniors all put their hands and spirits to work, surmounting the voice of doubt many expressed not only in their ability to make pieces but also in our collective ability to get to the finish line on time. But finish on time we did!

There were many highs on this journey. The best ones for me were the stories of individuals and the opportunity to share this project with family and friends. My parents came out twice to my studio, lending their skills to the project and being that ever encouraging voice of support and pride I've known all my life. They also came out to help install Populace in the park, mom filling pieces with putty and dad hammering in rods.

I have been blessed to work with two incredible women on this project, neither of whom I knew at all when we began. Hilde Lambrechts, at probably 5' 0" but always perfectly dressed in the most impressive heels, is the designer of the project from top to bottom. Kim Lulashnyk is our beautiful and talented wordsmith and media manager. I manage the money and general coordination of the project. Don't let that fool you though. This has been a collaborative effort from the very beginning.

I could write a book about the journey of Populace. Maybe one day the three of us will - it is on the radar and in the cue actually! But for now, I'll direct you to our website for all the information you'll ever need on the project. When you get there, be sure to click on the links to our Social Media pages, especially Facebook. Go to: Enjoy!

Feathers made by my dad, my nephew Joseph and my mom

Thursday, April 7

Spring Shows

The spring collection of shows is beginning! Here's where you can find me this April and May, 2016:

April 22-24
Up first: The Ottawa Guild of Potters' Spring Sale and Exhibition, April 22-24 at the Horticulture Building, Lansdowne Park. I will be at space #17, just to your left as you head to see our incredible exhibition.

May 7-8
The, for the Mother's Day weekend, I will be at the Red Trillium Tour in West Carleton. This spring I will be in the same place I was last fall, at beautiful St. Mary's Anglican Church. The tour is a self-guided one with so many incredible artists and artisans taking part. The tour runs both days from 10 am to 5 pm. When you come to St. Mary's, plan to stay for a bite to eat! The ladies of the church always make the best food!

 I look forward to seeing you at one of these shows!

Friday, March 4

Great Bowls of Fire 2016

I'm very happy to be a part of the Ottawa Guild of Potters' annual "Great Bowls of Fire" fundraiser for the Ottawa Food Bank. This year, 25 bowls (and maybe a few extras) are my contribution to the affair, which annually raises between $10,000 to $15,000 for the city's busiest food bank. Amazing soups from generous local restaurants, delicious breads from wonderful local bakeries, great music, a live auction and a unique, handmade bowl to take home are what every person who comes will enjoy. It's a wonderful, feel good evening spent elbow to elbow with fellow supporters of the food bank and the Ottawa Guild of Potters.

Wednesday, October 28

Pot Smash Fall 2015

As potters, we always have pieces that served a purpose at one time but that ultimately need to be let go of, one way or another. Perhaps it's work that failed miserably. Perhaps it's a piece that taught a valuable lesson in throwing (heavy bottoms), trimming (right through!) or decorating (too many prints). Whatever the reason, these are all things that I prefer to destroy rather than put out for public consumption. My name or stamp is invariably on these pieces somewhere and I'd just prefer that they never see the light of day. The pit is located on our property in Dunrobin, though the photo looks like it is in some wooded area in an unknown forest. For years I've been dumping my clay water there as well. In fact, digging the pit revealed strata of different colours of clay that I've used. That was pretty cool. Maybe one day someone will discover the pit and image who put the shards there and why. Maybe they'll find my stamp or signature and look me up. If they do, and if this blog is still discoverable, whenever that day comes, then cheers to you for making the connection!! Now you know what you've found and why on earth it was put there!

What came from the earth is now returned to the earth. As it should be.

The Heart of Pluto

Inspired by the images sent back to earth
by the New Horizons Spacecraft, this line 
of pots is perhaps the gentlest work I've 
ever done. 

Heart of Pluto Family
Pluto, from the New Horizons Space Mission

Tall Cup, Tea Bowl, Short Cup

Monday, July 27


Retrospective is a Facebook album showing some of my favourite pieces from the past 9 years. I started the album because I wanted to make new business cards using a website called "Moo". It was as fun as the name sounds like it could be! Have a look!

Monday, May 11


After a very busy Mother's Day weekend with pots in two places (phew!), I will be posting images of the pieces that did not find a new home. These lovelies were displayed in the wrong place, according to reports of multiple shoppers missing out on one beautiful tulip bowl. So, we can't let that be the case, right? Photos and details are coming soon so ....WATCH THIS SPACE!!