Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pat Schendel Ceramicist

First greetings at Pat's place are the dogs. Big and hairy they wanted to show their affection and rub against my black pants, creating black and tan furry pants. Inside the 40 or so song birds serenaded us as we had tea and fruit muffins.
Pat and her husband Bert have lived on their small Surrey acreage since 1982, they have the biggest and most majestic trees in the neighborhood, on a hot day Pat's place is the place to be.
She was born in 1950 at the Abbotsford Cottage hospital which was replaced by the MSA hospital. After high school she lived in Kamloops for nine years and trained to be a nurse. She joined her first potters Guild there. She also lived in Prince George and New Westminster. She has been with the Fraser Valley Potters Guild since 1993. In 1992 to 1995 she studied porcelains and crystallines under the instruction of David Loyd.
Pat and her husband have traveled around the world twice in 1980 and again in 1990. They saved up money and took 13 months for each trip. They were robbed in Columbia both times.
Pat's ancestors came to North America (USA) in 1630 from England and Scotland, They moved to Quebec in 1805. Pat went to a two hundred year reunion in Quebec and then on to Boston for a reunion with the Boston relatives.
I first heard of Pat Schendel when I walked into the Kariton Gallery where she and Gwen Gregorig were having a show(April 6-30, 2008). A painter and a potter it was a good show and a strong combination of mediums. I was impressed by the delicate shapes, crystalline glazes and color choices. Pat likes beautiful things and strives for beauty in her creations. Serene, simple, clean elegance, with an element of surprise when it is done, like the floral shapes the crystallines form, "crystal gardens". Her pots are meticulous with interesting shaped edges. Crystalline porcelain is very different from other types of ceramic glazes. The zinc silicate crystals are grown and the temperature is manipulated on the cooling cycle. The glaze must have a low viscosity for the crystals to grow, resulting in some glaze run off. Each pot is placed on an individual catcher which must be removed and the foot of the pot ground smooth. This is a technique for the meticulous potter who likes a challenge, and Pat loves this challenge. The April show was Pat's first solo ceramics show and was a retrospective of five years of work, her greatest achievement among the many awards she has won. The award she is most proud of was the Peoples Choice, to be the peoples favorite was an honor. The BC Potters Guild sponsored that show, entitled "Finger Play", they are miniature pots that are traveling around BC for a year.
Pat's words of wisdom are follow your ideas and dreams to conclusion, stimulant your self with travel and see what others are doing. Go in the direction of what is pulling you, work on your own style.

No comments: