Lesley Lloyd with some of her horse-hair pottery

Lesley Lloyd with some of her horse-hair pottery

Horse-hair decoration fits potter’s lifestyle

Lesley Lloyd has been potting in the lakecity for many years now and her enthusiasm for the craft never seems to flag.

Lesley Lloyd has been potting in the lakecity for many years now and her enthusiasm for the craft never seems to flag.

While raising her family and working at various other jobs, she has always found time for pottery.

You will find her teaching classes for children, mentoring adults, and experimenting with glazes and styles.

She has made many traditional plates, cups and bowls, but these days she is leaving the traditional behind to explore the more artistic side of the craft,  in particular the art of low-fired, decorative raku.

She has developed a reputation for her work with one particular type of raku decorated with horse hair and subtle images of galloping horses.

She loves to ride horses and owns a couple, so this line of decoration seems a natural fit.

For many years she has kept mum on how she managed to achieve the horse images. Now she explains a simple resist method, of laying a metal or clay cut-out over the piece while it is still hot from the kiln and spraying the piece with ferric chloride. Horse hairs are also creatively thrown on the piece while it is still hot.

This is a very simple explanation for what is really a tricky process in low-fired decorative pottery.

Lloyd’s show in the main gallery of the Station House this month is called Out of the Cave and is a tribute to the inspiration she found with the discovery in 1994 of the ancient drawings on the walls of the Chauvet Cave in France.

“I have become fascinated with art found in caves since I first saw stickmen scratched onto a cliff face,” Lloyd says in her artist’s statement.

“And when one considers how human beings have expanded their art and the forms they use to express themselves since those first primitives, it is quite amazing.

“I have attempted to explore various forms and techniques, in clay, that man has developed starting with horse hair pieces, on to high fire porcelain that the Chinese developed, which is often considered the zenith of ceramics in the art world.”

Beside each of her own creations or groups of creations in this show the viewer will find pieces of pottery in her collection by other artists that inspired her, plus a book on the Chauvet Caves.

“Extensive travel has allowed me to soak up the historical aspects of pottery from museums, galleries and artisans around the world,” Lloyd says.

“Visiting present day potters on Crete, I have come to understand more fully the influence of ageless forms and decoration. And today you can see potters like Sven Bayer in Great Britain also making large pots just like they have been making on Crete for a thousand years.”

Born in the Okanagan, Lloyd has lived in the Cariboo since 1956, with the exception of her university years and two years living in Tasmania, Australia with her husband Bill.

Encouraged by a neighbour in Australia she started making pots and after returning to Canada in 1973 she joined the Cariboo Potters Guild and has been an active member ever since.

Lloyd has travelled extensively over the years, both on her own and with her husband, Bill, and their family.

She has made numerous trips to Mexico, as well as two trips to Greece (now her favourite destination), Great Britain, mainland Europe, Costa Rica, and a return trip to Australia.

 

She has biked around Germany and just this year she and Bill biked through Italy, Slovenia and into Croatia.

 

 

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