Potters take over Station House this month

The Cariboo Potters Guild has created a wide range of whimsical pieces for Playful Nature

A colourful collection of pots, sculptures and plates created by the Cariboo Potters Guild has taken over the Station House’s Lower Gallery this month.

Entitled Playful Nature, this show is made up of 62 works by 28 artists of the Cariboo Potters Guild, one of Williams Lake’s oldest artist-based organizations. Members were encouraged to let their creativity and imaginations run wild while creating pieces for this show, which is evident from the moment you step into the gallery.

A wide array of fantastical and vibrant pottery creations line the walls and shelves with everything from unique pots, to wall sculptures and even tiny statues of colourful sharks. The guild wished to explore the “light-hearted, whimsical nature” that surrounds us all if people take the time to see it and that sense of whimsy is definitely evoked by many of the pieces. Artists used a wide arrange of colours, clays and techniques to bring their pieces to life with no two being quite the same.

The Cariboo Potters Guild was founded in 1967 by Anna Roberts and has since grown over the years to include potters of all ages and backgrounds. Currently, the guild is made up of 41 members of all ages.

Read More: Cariboo Potters Guild holding show and sale this weekend

For Roberts herself and fellow longtime member Joan Beck, it’s just amazing to see so many young faces in the guild lending their talents to this show. Roberts, as the founder, has been involved with the guild since its inception while Beck has been involved since the early 70s through thick and thin.

Using locally-sourced, natural clay that she dug herself in her youth, is something that Roberts has long been known for and continues to use to this day. She gets her clay from the Horsefly and Quesnel rivers, though some of her sources have since been lost to development over the last few decades.

“I first started making pots when my parents came from Quebec and said ‘look at all the clay you have in your backyard and the field’ and I started then on my mother’s suggestion,” Roberts said. “That was a long time ago, I came to Williams Lake in 1958.”

Even at close to 90 years of age, Roberts still sculpts local clay with her hands and makes her own glaze out of local rocks for her creations.

For Playful Nature, Roberts chose to create a burnished ware piece based off a collection of bones she found while on a walk through the woods.

Beck, meanwhile, is a thrower style potter, meaning she uses a potter’s wheel and specializes in the creation of bowls and cups. She said that it’s very satisfying to take a lump of clay and turn it into something new and unique.

Read More: Station House building turns 100 this year

“It was just something I wanted to do and working with clay, it was so friendly, you can make things and then I started working on the potter’s wheel and that hooked me for sure,” Beck remarked.

However, for this show, Beck chose to forgo her wheel and sculpt a moose, using her own two hands. This sculpture of a cartoonish moose has red dancing shoes on and was just something Beck said “happened,” but was “fun to create.”

This show has made Roberts realize that there is a lot of new blood in the Cariboo Potters Guild, as she said she does not recognize many of the names on display in Playful Nature. Beck agreed and said she believes they’ve had over a dozen new potters join the guild within the last year.

“We’ve had an influx, which is really nice, of young people, well, we call them young people,” Beck chuckled. “I love to see new people come in and if their ways are different, or they’re interested in learning what I’ve got to offer them, that’s great.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


Hunter, the Mouse Catcher by Cinde Porter is just one of dozens of unique clay sculptures on display at the Station House as part of Playful Nature. Patrick Davies Photo.

Anna Roberts smiles with her contribution to Playful Nature, a handmade clay sculpture of various bones she came across in the woods.

Anna Roberts smiles with her contribution to playful nature, a handmade clay sculpture of various bones she came across in the woods. Patrick Davies Photo.

Veteran Cariboo Potters Guild member Joan Beck lent her talents to Playful Nature again with the pieces Wasn’t Me! and He Did It!

Phillip Enswimmers by Judi Prevost is just one of the many examples of whimsy that the Cariboo Potters Guild explored for Playful Nature.

The Castle is a hand built clay sculpture of a castle made by Colleen Kielman for Playful Nature the Cariboo Potters Guild’s joint art show. Patrick Davies Photo.

A collection of clay yaks entitled Party Animals by Buff Carnes. Patrick Davies Photo.

A collection of unique pottery and clay sculptures created by various members of the Cariboo Potters Guild. Patrick Davies Photo.

Just Posted

Williams Lake establishes $100K emergency fund in response to COVID-19

Emergency fund will enable City to provide assistance during pandemic

Williams Lake Garden Club creates new community seed library

For now residents can request seeds for pick up or delivery due to COVID-19 precautions

COVID-19: City of Williams Lake issues reminder for residents to keep socially distant

The City has imposed a special regulation at the tennis courts

Warmer temperatures in the forecast for Cariboo Chilcotin, nights still cool

We checked in about winter with four women living in four directions of Williams Lake

COVID-19: 4 new deaths, 25 new cases but only in Vancouver Coastal, Fraser Health

A total of 1,291 people have tested positive for the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: Don’t get away for Easter weekend, Dr. Bonnie Henry warns

John Horgan, Adrian Dix call 130 faith leaders as holidays approach

COVID-19: Trudeau says 30K ventilators on the way; 3.6M Canadians claim benefits

Canada has seen more than 17,000 cases and at least 345 deaths due to COVID-19

RCMP call on kids to name latest foal recruits

The baby horses names are to start with the letter ‘S’

As Canadians return home amid pandemic, border crossings dip to just 5% of usual traffic

Non-commercial land crossing dipped by 95%, air travel dropped by 96 per cent, according to the CBSA

Logan Boulet Effect: Green Shirt Day calls on Canadians to become organ donors

While social distancing, the day also honours the 16 lives lost in the 2018 Humboldt Broncos Crash

COMMENTARY: Knowing where COVID-19 cases are does not protect you

Dr. Bonnie Henry explains why B.C. withholds community names

B.C. wide burning restrictions come into effect April 16

‘Larger open burns pose an unnecessary risk and could detract from wildfire detection’

Most Read