After arriving in the Cariboo 54 years ago, Anna Roberts discovered that this area has many naturally occurring materials useful in pottery making.
Over the years, as a recreation, Roberts has used local clays for making earthenware, as well as burnished ware.
Her instruction has come from the numerous workshops that have been brought here by the Cariboo Potters Guild.
Roberts says that her work as a naturalist has influenced her use of natural forms, textures and colours in her pottery-making. Over the years her unique one of a kind pieces have been inspired by small beautiful forms such as dried seed pods.
These days she is inspired by wood.
“Finding a piece of wood that has a pattern on it. That is my inspiration,” Roberts says. “Usually it’s rotting wood.”
Once she has her inspirational piece she will try out a few shapes to see what suits the pattern best.
“Most people make a pot then put a design on it,” Roberts says. “I do it the other way around.”
She says that she tries to reflect the power and grace of form and design found in the natural world.
She likes to leave the outside of her pots unglazed to show the interesting colour of local clays.
To make burnished ware, Roberts first hand rubs the piece she has made when it is dried to the leather-hard stage, firm but still moist. She uses an agate stone to polish the piece to a natural shine. It can take many hours to polish one piece.
During the second firing flames are allowed to flow around the pots, enhancing the effect of burnishing and giving colour variations to the pieces, Roberts says.
Sometimes she mixes light and darker coloured clays to give greater texture to the piece.
Roberts will have an outdoor show and sale of her work in the yard of her studio at 2202 Grebe Drive on Sept. 29 and 30 from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.