Robot Mugs by Maaike Charron

Meet Our CLAY STUDIO TEAM

Craft Council of Newfoundland & Labrador

Rowena House

Executive Director

With over 20 years’ experience working in the Arts and Crafts sector in many northern locations Rowena House has built a career on working with artists from all over Canada’s North. Born and raised in Labrador she is excited to be back in the province as the Executive Director for the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador. She now works with craft’s people from all over the province both professional and emerging finding opportunities for them to grow their careers. She also dedicates time to forge relationships with craft organizations across the country to tackle collaborative projects, increase networking in the field, and advocate for craft and culture at the provincial, territorial and federal level. Rowena has worked in many aspects of the cultural industry across this great county including a dedicated buyer of Sculpture in Cape Dorset, NU, and then the Executive Director for the Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association. She continuously tries her best to assist those that want to build their career in the cultural sector. Rowena is the co-chair of the Cultural Committee for the extremely success Northern Lights event that takes place in Ottawa biannually.

Lisa Downey

Administration Officer

Lisa Downey has spent the last eight years as Administrative Officer of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador and brings her considerable knowledge of twenty plus years’ experience working in administration to the position. Lisa’s role encompasses Accounts Payable and Receivables, Administrator of Health Benefits, Insurance, Loan Board, Donations, Health and Safety, Facilities Management, along with Administrator for all departments and projects in which the Craft Council participates. As Membership Coordinator, Chair of the Standards Committee and as a Craft Artist herself, Lisa is aware of the benefits of Craft Council membership and engages with craftspeople across the province to encourage excellence in craft development.

Bruno Vinhas

Gallery Director

Brazilian by birth, Bruno Vinhas is passionate about global craft culture which drove his will to work in a gallery environment. A degree in Tourism and Hospitality has provided Vinhas the experience of living and working in multiple countries and being immersed in different cultures changed his perspective about art and craft. Bruno graduated the College of North Atlantic's Textiles: Craft & Apparel Design program in 2016, and was the recipient of the Colleges and Institutes Canada 2016 Art Showcase Award, the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador 2016, Anna Templeton Award 2016 and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador's Centenary of Responsible Scholarship 2017 and graduate with honors. Vinhas has been part of several different projects including but not limited to visual arts, theater and dance. He started working as a Gallery Assistant Director for the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador in August 2017 and has be working as their Gallery Director since August 2018. Since then he has been pursuing curatorial studies and projects and has been providing information sessions in all parts of the Newfoundland and Labrador province in order to elevate the profile of fine, contemporary and craft-based art within the Craft Council Gallery environment.

Shannon Reid

Events & Retail Manager

Shannon Reid has worked in the retail industry for over 30 years, with the majority of that time spent within the craft and gift sector. Originally from Nova Scotia, Shannon moved to St. John’s in 2004 with her family, and began working as the Craft Council Shop Manager in 2006. In addition to her work within the Council, she also is a member of the provincial government’s Crafts of Character Branding Committee, and the Advisory Support Committee at the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation. Shannon draws from her education in Fashion Merchandising to provide merchandising assistance to craft shops throughout the province, both through on-site visits and in group seminar sessions. She provides guidance with retail pricing, packaging, promotion and career planning, supporting members as they develop their confidence and find their voice as professional craftspeople.

Charlene Denief

Design and Communications Coordinator

Charlene began with the Craft Council in 2017, in partnership with Easter Seals and a funding grant that gave wage subside for her position for a full year. After that she, stayed on with the Council as Design intern. She graduated from the College of the North Atlantic’s Graphic Design program in 2016 with recognition, and has over five years’ experience in Graphic Design across many industries. Charlene brings her background in Fine Arts into her work for the Council, and is a practicing artist herself.

Earl Hoyles

Finance Officer

Earl has an extensive background in finance coming from a career with the Provincial Government and their finance department. Earl provides stable and sound financial management with the help of the executive director and accounts payable / receivable support staff.

Joanne O’Leary

Joanne is responsible for the administration and organization of the studio activities including course, workshop and community event scheduling, communications with instructors and volunteers, monthly financial reporting, annual budgeting, materials and supply orders, grant writing and partnering with other community-based organizations. Joanne is also the Chair of the Clay Studio Advisory Committee and a Clay Studio instructor.

Bradley Whitten

Studio Technician

Brad is a wealth of knowledge and is our studio technician with a responsibility for firing and maintaining our kilns, inventory of clay, studio layout, upkeep, cleanliness and safety, coordinating volunteer studio hosts, and keeping all studio users up to date on new additions to the studio. Brad also conducts the one-on-one coaching sessions, whether it be wheel throwing or hand-building. Brad is also a member of the Clay Studio Advisory Committee.

Florence Donaway

Florence is an instructor, volunteer and a Clay Studio Advisory Committee member offering her years of experience in ceramics to the betterment of the Clay Studio’s mandate and mission.

Christina Pitcher

Christina is a volunteer studio host, a community events volunteer, an instructor, a birthday party host, and a member of the Clay Studio Advisory Committee.

Joanne Moores

Joanne is a volunteer studio host, a community events volunteer, an instructor a member of the Clay Studio Advisory Committee, and a regular member of the Clay Studio.

Anita Singh

Anita is an instructor, community events volunteer, and a regular member of the clay studio.

Jane Ogilvie

Jane is a community events volunteer, an instructor, and a regular member of the clay studio.

Roxanne Pitcher

Roxanne is a Clay Studio volunteer host, community events volunteer, an instructor, and a regular member of the Clay Studio.

Evelyn Roitner

Evelyn an instructor and a regular member of the Clay Studio.

Vicky Northey

Vicky is an instructor with the Clay Studio and is our resident expert on anything involving glaze and creating glazes from raw materials.

Joan Kane

Chairperson

Joan Kane lives in Trinity where she operates her home-based knitting business Ewe Design. Has served on the Craft Council Board in various positions for a number of years as well as other local and provincial organizations. Joan is a proud Lion and when not volunteering can be found doing what she is most passionate about knitting.

Katie Parnham

Vice Chair

Katie Parnham has been a long time member of the Craft Council, and has been on the Craft Council board and committees helping the association to grow the industry. She has a keen interest in developing emerging craft makers to become viable businesses and is part of the management committee for the Quidi Vidi Plantation, an incubator for emerging craft makers.

Deborah Newhook

Treasurer

Deborah Newhook has a long history of working with not-for-profit community-based organizations in Newfoundland and Labrador. Currently, she is Chair of the Anna Templeton Centre and the Quidi Vidi Plantation as well as the Treasurer of the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Jim Millar

Secretary

Jim lives and works in Trinity with the Trinity Historical Society that owns and operates two living history museums that practice two dying trades: coopering and blacksmithing. Products from these two historic sites can be seen on our on-line store. Jim is also Chairperson of our Christmas Craft Fair Committee and holds many other volunteer responsibilities in Trinity, the Bonavista Peninsula and the province.

Frances Ennis

Past Chair

Frances Ennis began her textile art career with a traditional rug hooking workshop at the Anna Templeton Centre in 2002. She continues to use recycled fabrics and yarns to carry on this long-standing tradition of our mothers and grandmothers, to tell their stories, and to create stories of her own that resonate with who she is and what she believes to be important. Frances has a long history of working with non-profit community-based organizations both as a volunteer and a staff member.

Kirk Tilley

Director

Kirk Tilley retired from the provincial government in 2017 after 33 years of service. For several years he was a Director with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation where he was responsible for helping to developing the Province’s craft sector. Kirk was also Served as a board member with the Anna Templeton Centre.

Barry Buckle

Director

Barry Buckle is an apparel designer and textile artist. Barry is an instructor with textiles and apparel design, College of the North Atlantic for the past 22 years.

Heather Aganatok

Director

Heather Angnatok is a board representative from Labrador who has a keen interest to learn about Newfoundland and Labrador’s crafting industry. Heather likes to work with raw materials such as seal skin where she makes Labrador Inuit traditional clothing such as Kamek (seal skin moccasins) and mitts. Heather also works with traditional plants such as Labrador Tea to make soap, cream, lip balm and tea-bags.

Maylin Blake

Director

Maylin Blake is a board representative from Goose Bay, NL who owns and operates a pet supply store. Maylin enjoys quilting along with many other crafts.

Rachel Anstey

Director

Rachel Anstey began her career in craft in 2015 with the Craft Council, but has a long familial history of craft passed down through the women in her family. Now she continues to be involved in the craft community through volunteer work with the board, and is also a member of the Craft Fair Committee.

Alex Antle

Community Director

Alex Antle is a Mi’kmaw beadwork artist who resides in Corner Brook. Alex provides support to Indigenous artists, craftspeople, and business owners through her position at the Qalipu First Nation Band office.