I completed my BFA at the Alberta College of Art + Design in Calgary Alberta Canada. If you’ve never heard of ACAD you should really check it out, it has everything; all the normal stuff like painting, drawing and printmaking, along with media arts and digital technologies, design, photography and most importantly the Crafts. ACAD sees the importance and to be honest the awesomeness of Craft, it has outstanding departments in Ceramics, Glass, Fiber and Jewellery and Metals, as well as a rock star faculty in the studio and in liberal studies that really provide students with a solid foundation in the Crafts.
While at ACAD I had the great opportunity to spend a semester on exchange at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. I fully took advantage of my time in Scotland to travel and take in as much ceramic culture and history as I could. In the not so distant future I plan to return to the UK to continue my ceramics education hopefully finding an apprenticeship opportunity.
Nearing graduation from ACAD I was unsure of what my next steps in ceramics should be, I knew I wasn’t ready for Grad school and I also wasn’t ready to try and set up my own studio, lucky for me I had an awesome teacher that advised me to apply for a Post-baccalaureate program. After she explained what a post-bacc program was (1 year part time/mostly independent studies that’s sort of situated between the undergrads and grads) I decided that’s what I wanted to do next. I applied to a couple of schools and got into the University of Florida. A the time I wasn’t really all that sure about going to UF, It was a big giant university in the US and Gainesville has a climate almost the exact opposite of Calgary.
I decided to go despite the weather and I’m super glad I did. I’m going to be honest; I LOVE Gainesville and the University of Florida. Gainesville is this really cool hipstery college town that’s super bicycle friendly, with great places to hang out and wild alligators all over the place. The University is big and huge with all kinds of programs I’d never heard of, there’s the whole Greek system that I thought only existed in movies, everyone is crazy into tailgating and football (I also thought that only existed in movies), it’s the exact opposite from my experience at ACAD… well except that UF also has a stellar Ceramics program. Really all that needs to be said is GO GATORS!
I’ve recently moved back to Canada and have set up a studio in the milk house of a dairy barn. I’ve got everything I need here but a soda kiln… since my second year at ACAD I have always fired high temperature stoneware usually in a soda kiln. I have decided (more out of necessity then choice really) to try out earthenware for a while; it is slow going because I’ve never used it before not even at UF when I had Linda Arbuckle as a teacher. But I’m kind of a ceramics nerd, so I don’t mind spending countless hours mixing and testing glazes, I actually love it. I may have also just finished building a ball mill so I can start working with terra sig.