I have always loved art, all the way through school to my present day. My first experience with clay was in my Junior High years and it almost got me suspended. The Art teacher I had in Grade Seven tried to give her students as much experience with various mediums and clay was one of them. Although boys at the age of thirteen are not very smart when thinking about what might happen as the ball of clay, thrown at the culprit who threw it at me, rolled across the teacher's desk as she was showing a student what to do. My aim was never very good.
Thank goodness she changed her mind about removing me and I have enjoyed working in clay ever since. I took art in High School and University; especially enjoying sculpting in clay at University level. My first teaching job was in a small country school in Alberta. I taught a split Grade 3-4 class but also taught Music to Grades 1 to 6 and Art to Grades 1 to 9. I always made sure to have clay projects as part of my curriculum. When I moved to another school. I again taught a split grade but also taught Art to Grades 7 to 9. I wanted to become more knowledgeable about clay and so took some Community Education courses at Red Deer College. I joined the Red Deer Pottery Club and was an active member until we moved to Qualicum Beach in 2010.
I then became an elementary teacher in Red Deer City where I taught Grade 4 for five years. I continued to take numerous Art classes at Red Deer College. I was asked to be the Art teacher at Eastview Middle School, where I taught only Art for 14 years. I always made clay one of my major components in my Art program.
After I retired, I worked for friends who have an artistic tile business, Voyageur Art and Tile, just outside of Red Deer. Brian and Dawn both have Masters Degrees in ceramics. Their knowledge and artistry have inspired me.
My wife, Karen Donald, who is a ceramic artist, and I have a studio in Qualicum Beach. We both have completely different styles and bounce ideas off of each other. We both are members of the Arrowsmith Potters Guild and have been for several years.
My true love in clay is Raku, which is an ancient Japanese style of firing clay pieces. I am currently working on large bowls with wave shapes carved into them and finished in a Japanese style design.
It is funny that my experience with clay started with throwing it in Grade Seven and some fifty-five years later, I'm still throwing it. Hopefully a little more creatively.