Potter and ceramics instructor Duncan Tweed of The Workshop Studio Gallery shapes a small vase out of clay in his studio on Friday

Workshop to offer clay play

New Salmon Arm studio/gallery offers items for purchase and classes for would-be potters.

On a brilliant warm morning, a potter sits in Zen-like fashion, gently coaxing a slab of clay to respond to his touch.

“It’s very meditative, at least at first, because you have to pay attention to what you are doing,” says potter Duncan Tweed as he fashions an elegant vase.

“It’s all in the touch. I can make a pot blindfolded; I can feel a weak spot and tell when the clay is going to twist.”

An artist with 12 years’ experience in working with clay, Tweed is one of two instructors at The Workshop Studio Gallery on 50th Street NE.

His introduction to ceramics was at his high school in Arizona where he needed an art credit.

“It’s very rewarding to build something with your hands,” he says, describing ceramics as being somewhere between stone and glass. “Some of the oldest known artifacts are ceramics.”

Tweed worked with an artist in the summers and graduated from university in Flagstaff with a fine arts degree in ceramics and a business degree in management.

While in college, he met KJ MacAllister, an Edmonton potter and owner of The Workshop Studio Gallery.

The two stayed in touch and when MacAllister bought the large acreage in Canoe, she invited Tweed to move to the Shuswap to teach.

Impressed with the beautiful surroundings and the community support the many area potters receive, Tweed says he was surprised that, as far as he knows, nobody else is giving lessons.

Limited by the number of wheels, the studio offers six-week courses to three people at a time.

“It’s heavy instruction,” he laughs, noting students get as much or as little help as they wish.

While most people are attracted to learning to use the wheel, Tweed says there is always leftover clay so students do get to craft something using the slab method.

Tweed is delighted that he no longer has to make “100 mugs a week” to survive and can satisfy his own passion for creating with clay when he’s not teaching.

“You don’t really know clay until you have thrown a ton of it,” he says, sipping tea in the large, airy studio.

But Tweed is quick to gesture to shelves displaying some of the excellent items students have created, to emphasize that anyone who takes a six-week course at the workshop will be making items they are happy with.

Students also learn about the glazing process, choosing from a few thousand colour options provided by several under- and over-glazes.

Within a few weeks, Tweed says some of the work he and fellow instructor Jeremy Pawlowicz create will be available for sale in the gallery.

If The Workshop-Studio Gallery proves to be a success, future plans include inviting artists to hold weekend workshops and, further down the road, creating a large, multi-purpose facility that would focus on other mediums such as painting and drawing and possibly an artist-in-residence program.

For more information, call 1-778-489-5249 or visit www.theworkshop-studiogallery.com.


Just Posted

Alternative approval process to proceed for Centennial Field purchase

Fate of loan to purchase land for future park in hands of South Shuswap residents

Valdy gives volunteers a hand after Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Celebrated Canadian singer pitched in alongside starstruck clean-up crew

Robbery tactic used on Salmon Arm senior not uncommon

RCMP advice comes after credit cards stolen at Walmart parking lot

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

Founder of Salmon Arm’s sister city exchange helps welcome Inashiki visitors

Twenty three Japanese guests visit city for a week, Salmon Arm to return in March

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

North Shuswap Lions, Celista winery host benefit concert

Sept. 7 event at Celista Estate Winery to support North Shuswap Youth Program

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Shuswap history in pictures

Shuswap history in pictures: mechanics class

Most Read