Don Hutchinson in a 2014 photo publicizing his “From Form to Fantasy” exhibit at Surrey Art Gallery. (File photo)

Surrey arts community mourns Don Hutchinson, award-winning potter

For more than five decades, he made ‘extraordinary clay works out of his home and studio in Surrey’

Surrey’s arts community is mourning Don Hutchinson, an acclaimed ceramic artist who won a Surrey Civic Treasure award in 2014.

News of his death was posted on Surrey Art Gallery’s Facebook page on Thursday.

“It is with great sadness that we learned of ceramic artist Don Hutchinson’s passing yesterday,” the post says.

“Don was a pioneering creator, teacher and mentor who guided many individuals in the art of clay, both as an instructor at Langara College and as a studio potter in Surrey. A recipient of a Surrey Civic Treasure Award in 2014, Don made his extraordinary clay works out of his home and studio in Surrey for over five decades. Surrey Art Gallery presented Don Hutchinson: From Form to Fantasy, a solo survey exhibition of Don’s work, in 2017. Don will be greatly missed.”

No cause of death was noted in the Facebook post.

In 2014, Hutchinson spoke about his life and work in a three-minute video posted to the City of Surrey’s Youtube channel.

“In 1980, Don won a Canada Council grant to research using raw minerals of B.C. for glazes,” states a description of the video. “This work lead to a publication of a training manual that has been used by ceramic artists across Canada, England, South Africa, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and the United States.”

Hutchinson spent 30 years at Langara College as a ceramics teacher and is past-president of the Potters Guild of B.C.

“His ceramics works reflect his interest in ancient cultures such as Turkey, Crete, Sicily, Japan and Korea but also show his concern with the Surrey landscape through the use of locally-sourced materials,” read a bio published in the Surrey Now in 2014, when Hutchinson was named a Surrey Civic Treasure.

“Extremely knowledgeable in his craft, he is not hesitant to share his experience with students and peers, through workshops for Semiahmoo Potters members, mentoring and advice to individual artists, and talks at arts, community and civic events in White Rock and Surrey.”

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