• Attended the Alberta College of Art.   Major-Sculpture
  • Favorite Book: Catch 22
  • Favorite Movie: Brazil
  • Inspirational  Potter: Ed   Drahanchuk
  • Mentor: Carlton F Ball
  • Published: Article on Making Dies in ‘The Extruder Book’ by Daryl BairdPublisher- The American Ceramics Society

 I started drawing as long ago as I can remember and as a kid, was always building models. I took them to the point where I was designing the models and just buying raw materials. At age twenty two, I made the decision to go to The Alberta College of Art and become an artist. I had no idea what that even meant at the time.  After attending art school majoring in sculpture, I had  some new skills to better design some of the things I wanted to make. At 26, my obsession with making things got me into business by accident when I designed and made some candles for myself that everyone else also seemed to like. So I had invented a job for myself and I sold candles to shops across Canada. It taught me the basics of being in a crafts business.

After a couple of years making candles, I wanted to try something new, so I took a pottery course from Les Manning for my own interest. I found that I enjoyed the process of clay and firing along with the challenge of the vast amount of knowledge required to be a competent  potter making a living from your work. I started out my clay career by teaching adult educational pottery classes for a year while honing my skills, and then in 1972 had my own pottery studio with a 40 cu. ft. gas kiln. in 1978 Connie joined the team of what is now called Pike Studios. Over the time I worked professionally as a potter, I designed and built  4 kilns. One 25 cu. ft., one 40 cu. ft., one 60 cu. ft. and one 150 cu. ft. All were down draft natural gas fired kilns. I invented tools and designed and built machinery for extruding clay. I taught courses on how to make a living working with clay at Red Deer College Series program.

In 1981 I began having severe debilitating environmental health problems. ( related to the candle making I now suspect) One of the worst sensitivities I acquired was to moulds.I tried working wearing chemical masks and would try anything I thought might help me to work with clay. To say our life was bizarre is an extreme understatement. I worked with clay as much as I could eventually using a forced air mask system that is used when working with deadly materials. Eventually I got the message that I wasn’t supposed to be working with clay and went back to my roots and am now working with metals, hammering and welding and am focused more on sculpture.

I’m very happy to say I am completely enjoying the journey again. My philosophy of life is to keep challenging myself to find new directions and new things to discover. I think of myself as a maker and inventor and creative individual. I’m always looking for new places to go and new challenges to build rather than holding on to the places I’ve been.