Cathi JeffersonDuncan, British Columbia, CANADA

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Cathi’s career as a studio-trained potter began under mentor Herman Venema in Matsqui, British Columbia, in 1974.  She also completed fine arts courses at Kwantlen College and the Fraser Valley College.  Two Canada Council Grants provided funding for a 4-month residency at The Archie Bray Foundation in Montana and the Banff Centre for the Arts.  Experiences with fellow ceramic artists include a Cuban artist exchange (2004), wood-firing in BC, Banff, Oregon and Minnesota, and residencies in Banff (2000 / 2005), Montana (1997 / 2006), Maine (1997), Japan (1993 / 2003), the UK (2002), China (2010, 2013, 2019), Australia (2014).

Cathi has taught ceramics the University of Victoria, the Emily Carr College of Art and Industrial Design, Kootenay School of Art in Nelson, Medalta in Medicine Hat, North Mount Pleasant in Calgary, and at ‘Series’ in Red Deer.  Cathi enjoys teaching workshops and sharing experiences with fellow potters through teaching workshops in BC, Canada, the UK, and the US.

Her exhibition history has been extensive over the years in Canada, the United States, the UK, Japan, Korea and China.  This has included being invited to participate in four US exhibitions at the National Clay Exhibition for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA) and the ‘21st Century Ceramics’ in Ohio.  In 2010 she was awarded the Carter Wosk BC Creative Achievement Award for Applied Art and Design.  Among the many publications that have featured her work are Robin Hopper’s ‘Functional Pottery’ and Phil Roger’s ‘Salt-Glaze Ceramics’.  Her work is sold in galleries across Canada and the United States and she has sold her work in the UK, Japan, and Korea.

Cathi has always been actively involved in the clay community.   During a 4-year term as a board member with the Tozan Society, she helped build 2 traditional wood-fire kilns in Nanaimo.  She is affiliated with Circle Craft Co-op, the Potters Guild of BC, the South Vancouver Island Potter’s Guild, and the Fraser Valley Potter’s Guild (president 1995-2007).  Since 1996, she has been a member of the Fired Up! Collective.  She recently completed a 3-year term as a North West Ceramic Foundation board member, and co-chaired the triennial Canadian Clay Symposium for 12 years. Since moving to the Cowichan Valley in 2008 Cathi helped to establish a community Clay studio and continues to be very active in the organization and teaching at the Clay Hub.

Cathi’s passion for the preservation of nature is evident in all aspects of her work.  Her studio and gallery on the beautiful Cowichan River near Duncan, BC, is surrounded by the west coast rain forest that inspires her.  The unique salt-fired functional stoneware and sculptural forms she creates have designs from nature that she cares so passionately about. Her concern for the fragility of nature led her on a three-year creative journey that resulted installation, ‘Reflecting Nature:  Reflecting Spirit’ that includes large sculptural pieces representing the forests that are so crucial to the health of the planet.


Born in Vancouver, British Columbia, I grew up in North Vancouver playing in forests always enchanted by their beauty. Throughout my life this feeling continues to strengthen within me affecting the way I touch clay and create from its malleable being. The tall trees, varied grasses, wildflowers, water polished rocks, and majestic mountain ranges of BC are my inspiration. The organic earthy colour tones I need to work with are enhanced by my favorite type of kiln firing. Salt Firing creates textured and varying tones capturing light within the surface. The outcome with each piece unique, enhanced by the unpredictable nature of the process.

Since childhood I have always known I would be a potter and realize how blessed I have been to continually grow and create work that comes from within. I strive to make dishes that are comfortable to hold and use every day with a calming presence. Sculptural pieces strong in form that enrich the space they contain. These pursuits keep me engaged, continually growing and evolving pushing ideas of what is possible.

Teaching and contributing to the clay community I have been fortunate to be a part of all these years has always been an integral part of my being. I have been fortunate to be involved with guilds, art tours, organizing conferences, and mentor apprentices. I’m a co-founder and current president of the volunteer run clay community center the ‘Clay Hub’ in the Cowichan Valley. Interacting and being a part of all these endeavors over the years have been very fulfilling experiences.