Author Archives: Amy Gogarty

That Pottery Thing

Ron Vallis, large stoneware platter

The NWCF has an new fundraiser – That Pottery Thing…— with two ways to participate: in-person and on-line.
The in-person portion of That Pottery Thing… will be held at the Mayer Studio, 1000 Parker Street, September 30th, 2021, from 6:00 pm. Our host for the evening will be the ever-gracious Sheryl MacKay of CBC North by Northwest fame.

The in-person event will include an open bar, tasty treats, raffle items, a display of auction items available through the on-line auction and  a special display honouring Jinny Whitehead’s contribution to BC ceramics. .

The evening will feature short talks and videos about our various charitable projects including bursaries, scholarships and the Speaker Series. All funds raised support these important projects. The highlight of the evening will be the awarding of the NWCF Mayer Wosk Award of Excellence, presented to an outstanding BC ceramist. All in-person guests receive a dessert plate generously donated by BC potters.

The event will be broadcast through a live zoom available free to the wider community.

Tickets for in-person guests for That Pottery Thing …. are $75.00, available on a first come, first served basis on this website after September 1. A charitable tax receipt will be issued for a portion of each ticket. That Pottery Thing… will be free for zoom guests. A catalogue of auction items on offer will be online, and bidding will open September 15. Registering is free, but participants must register to bid.

Group-Zoom-Parties will be eligible for a door prize. Let us know about your party!
Any questions, please email Debra Sloan at

This will be a great, fun event that will benefit the ceramics community in BC! We hope you mark your calendars and plan to participate!

Playing With Fire: Ceramics of the Extraordinary

Playing With Fire: Ceramics of the Extraordinary, Carol E. Mayer
Publication to accompany an exhibition held at The Museum of Anthropology at UBC, Vancouver, BC, November 22, 2019 – March 29, 2020.
Museum of Anthropology, 2020. The Museum of Anthropology (MOA) at UBC presents the thought-provoking exhibition, Playing with Fire: Ceramics of the Extraordinary, on display from November 22, 2019 to March 29, 2020. Showcasing a group of 11 highly celebrated BC-based artists, this premiere exhibition of ceramic works, expresses strong opinions on urgent social issues.

Gillian McMillan

Born in England, Gillian McMillan trained as a teacher and taught before emigrating to Montreal and then Vancouver. She studied at Vancouver’s Huyghe School of Pottery and Douglas College (now Kwantlen U). She earned her BFA from Emily Carr College of Art & Design in 1994. She has taught at Place des Arts, the Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and at Port Moody Arts Centre. She has served on the Board of the Potters’ Guild of BC and is a founding member of Fraser Valley Potters’ Guild and Tri-City Potters. In 2010, she was an artist-in-residence at Medalta in Medicine Hat. Her work has been published in Robin Hopper’s Making Marks: Discovering the Ceramic Surface, two Lark books, Contact Magazine, and elsewhere. Working mainly in red earthenware painted with brightly coloured slips, Gillian has held solo exhibitions at the Gallery of BC Ceramics and at Circle Craft, where she introduced her distinctive jugbirds. Her work can be found in Circle Craft Co-op on Granville Island; at Jonathon Bancroft-Snell Gallery in London, Ontario; and at Primavera Gallery in Cambridge, England. Gillian joined the Board in 2021. For more of her work and to read her informative blog on clay-related events, see

Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay

The North-West Ceramics Foundation is pleased to announce the publishing of a new book on an important BC potter, with a foreword by our very own Debra Sloan.

Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay: My Ceramics from the Mediterranean to the Rockies
by Santo Mignosa, foreword by Debra Sloan
Granville Island Publishing, 2021
ISBN: 9781989467329(softcover). $25.95 CAD, $20.95 USD. Available via your local bookstore.

The autobiography Sea Salt, Lizards and Clay by the renowned Italian-Canadian ceramic artist Santo Mignosa covers the career of this rigorous technician and gifted modernist sculptor. Mignosa studied in Florence, Italy, and immigrated to Canada in 1957. In 1972, received his MFA from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred, New York. Mignosa brought formal art training from both Continental and American traditions in drawing, representational and abstract figurative art, ceramic murals, and large-scale ceramic sculpture to BC. His training in ceramics and wheel-throwing took place at the UBC Ceramic Hut in the late 1950s under his mentor Olea Davis, the founder of the Potters Guild of BC (1955). In the 1960s, he taught at the Kootenay School of Art alongside Zeljko Kujundzic and, later, Walter Dexter. During the 1970s and 80s, he taught ceramics at the University of Calgary. As the Canadian representative of the International Ceramics Academy (ICA), Mignosa assisted the ICA and the Alberta Potters Association, at that time under the presidency of Les Manning, to host the 1973 ICA International Exhibition in Calgary. In the 1990s, he returned to BC, where he continues to practice and teach. Over the span of his long career, his work and teaching have been recognized and awarded nationally and internationally. Mignosa has made a significant and fascinating contribution to ceramic culture in BC.