Pottery Weekend with Vaughan Smith

$ 420.00 CAD

WHEN: November 24 5pm-9pm | November 25 10am-6pm | November 26 10am-6pm SKILL LEVEL: Intermediate, participants should already have an understanding of throwing their own pieces before taking this class. This course is also available to Handbuilders as well. CAPACITY: 8 participants Vaughan Smith is a self employed potter with 38 years of experience in Britain, the United States and Canada. Westcote Bell Pottery is a husband and wife team with painter Jacqueline M. Cohen creating the whimsical narrative illustrations on the earthenware pieces. Vaughan is the potter creating the thrown forms, hand built pieces and large tile murals using Sgraffito carving. Together they have merged techniques and styles to create a unique collection of studio pottery. Operating a retail location in the studio has been a major driver in the overall plan for the last 30 years. The pottery started in a small village in Kent, England in 1985, moved to Ohio for 9 years, then NY for 17 years and finally Nova Scotia in 2011, where they continue to produce a variety of functional pottery, prints, paintings, collages and tiles. Vaughan is the technical potter who engages in the daily pottery production, mixing glazes, firing kilns, recycling clay and managing inventory for the showroom. The early years were spent making cone 8 stoneware in the Leach tradition. Then on moving to Kent he began to produce English Slipware at cone 04, inspired by a British potter from the Middle Ages called Thomas Toft. On moving to the United States he developed a new technique, first tried at the studio in Kent, England. Using paper stencils to create layers on the clay pot surface, producing illustrations on the piece. At this point from 1985-1994 the technique was new and the studio exploded with orders from galleries across N.America. Producing for the 100 galleries and doing 12 retail craft fairs each year, it soon became overwhelming and it was time for a change. Realizing this they moved the studio from Ohio to NY, buying an old farmhouse in the Hudson Valley, built a studio with a showroom and continued to produce the stencil ware. They continued to do many craft fairs and developed the on site showroom. At this point in 2007 they bought an old Bailey Gas kiln and returned to the stoneware tradition Vaughan first made in 1973. Moving to Nova Scotia in 2011 it was obvious the craft fair business plan was no longer a viable option. The studio and showroom were now situated in a 120 year old boat house on the LaHave River, next to a bakery, between a lighthouse and a Ferry terminal. If a retail showroom could support a working couple in the arts, surely this would be the location. It was and expanded in to a second building in 2017. Now two buildings house the collective annual production of Westcote Bell Pottery. The Nova Scotia studio allowed for a much more peaceful lifestyle and retailing right out of the studio meant no wasted time travelling between shows. This meant long periods of undisturbed work time in the studio, new ideas could be developed and produced with little distraction. The stoneware functional pottery began to out sell the stencil ware soon after the move. The glazes were expanded to 26 today, increasing the diversity of surfaces possible on the pottery. Enhancing those surfaces through texturing became a new element in the pottery. Firing in both electric and gas kilns also allowed for more diversity in the pottery. After 50 years producing artwork the couple are still energized and feel excited about working in the studio on a daily basis. The gardens around the property inspire the artwork and attract new customers into stopping for a visit. Gardening is a natural extension of a life in the arts, it inspires and feeds the soul. The pandemic created a new direction for Vaughan who developed a Youtube channel to help others learn about this amazing substance called clay. New videos appear weekly for everyone to enjoy potting and living life on the Lahave River. We like to think everyone can have a Sunday morning coffee while watching us create in this little bit of heaven called LaHave.

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