The two kilns at the Semiahmoo Potters studio have been running practically around the clock for the last few weeks, as the artists in the nonprofit society prepare for their annual Christmas sale on Dec. 1 and 2.
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, inside the small former bungalow at King George Boulevard and 156 Street that is the society’s current home, Gabriella Kardosi was applying the finishing touches to a red clay bowl on a potter’s wheel in one room, while Patricia Jahnke, a retired UBC chemist and past president of the society sorted through the custom-made glazes used to colour the clay objects before they are baked into ceramic by the kilns.
Kardosi, a computer-literate graphic artist who recently discovered pottery, has been a member for about a year.
“It’s very tactile,” Kardosi said, speaking as she made precise adjustments to the rotating bowl.
“I love to work with it.”
The November run-up to the Christmas sale is an especially busy time for the potters.
Jahnke says the kilns have been going “flat-out” and the shelves are packed with cups, bowls and other customs pieces.
The Semiahmoo Potters started as a club of 11 people who were taking pottery classes at the Community Arts Council in White Rock in 1994.
Jahnke, a member since day one, credits the late Ruth Neville as a driving force behind the founding of the original club.
The club’s first home was White Rock Elementary. In 2000, the school district needed the space and the club was forced to find a new home.
The potters’ club became a registered non-profit society in 2006.
It had to move again in 2008 to its current premises, a donated house on land belonging to well-known BC potter Don Hutchinson.
Plans are in the works to relocate the society to a permanent studio inside an expanded South Surrey Recreation Centre in January 2014.
It will be a larger space that will allow the society to grow beyond its current maximum of 36 members.
“We’ve always had a waiting list,” Jahnke said.
The annual Semiahmoo Potters’ sale will take place Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at the Ocean Park Community Hall, 1577 128 St.
For more information about the society and the sale, visit www.semiahmoopotters.com