– Deer and Fox Studio:
I have always been surrounded by art. At an unbelievably young age I started oil painting and have continued to work on this skill though out my life. Also at a young age I discovered wheel throwing pottery at the local community center and fell in love with it. Pottery wasn’t something that I had much of an opportunity to work with until I was an adult and attending University.
While taking classes at the University of Manitoba I had trouble wheel throwing with stoneware so I decided to try porcelain. Within a matter of a few hours I knew I had found my passion. What only moments ago was a short, heavy, cylinder while using stoneware had suddenly changed into large vases and ginger jars while using porcelain. Working with porcelain to me is like what I can only describe as a deep friendship. The porcelain already knows what it wants to be and I am only the tool that helps it achieve that beautiful form.
I like to create forms with a contemporary flare while adding hand painted and often realistic images to some pieces. I call upon my many years of drawing and painting skills to fit images on the vessels and then using oxides, often cobalt to create monochrome paintings. I also like to mix glazes, I find it exciting to be a chemist and know what goes into every aspect of the process of making a ceramic vessel. I like to experiment with layering glazes and try out different methods of glaze application. I use ceramics as an experiment on shapes and forms, glazes and surfaces, as well as firing methods. I love to experiment and try to take things to their limit. I graduated from the University of Manitoba in 2020 with a BFA Honours.
About Deer & Fox Studio:
While coming to the end of my degree at the University of Manitoba I decided I needed a name for my business. I wanted something that was catchy but also personal. I also wanted something that didn’t limit my practice to just ceramics, as I still enjoy oil painting, so something like Sara Ceramics wouldn’t have worked for my purposes. I decided that I would have it be ‘something’ studio, but what?
I had to examine myself, my history, where I grew up and the people I knew. My grandparents had a significant and principal role in raising me and influencing the person I would become. My Grandmother was the one who taught me how to paint and encouraged my art. My Papa, (grandfather), used to take me out camping and fishing a lot; he fostered my great love for the natural world. He would tell me stories about when he was young and growing up in rural Manitoba. One particular group of stories always stayed with me. He used to have a pet deer and a pet fox. They were not confined or tied up but rather they would run wild and come visit him often. The fox used to sit on my Papa’s shoulders as he would walk around the farm and occasionally the fox would steal eggs and bury them. The deer grew to be quite large and had a massive rack of antlers, but he would still come close to my papa. The deer came so close in fact that he would eat jelly beans or carrots from his shirt pocket, he was a giant but gentle deer. He would make sure not to hurt my Papa with those massive antlers.
After reviewing these stories in my head, I decided this is what I would name my business. Deer & Fox Studio. My grandparents gave me the love of art and nature and I am often inspired by nature in my work. I was also always so in love with these stories of the deer and the fox. I found it amazing that wild animals could be so gentle and loving to creatures unlike them and I wanted a story of love, friendship and nature to be at the foundation of my business.