Okanagan potter returns to clay after lengthy rehab

Peachland’s Peter Flanagan will participate in the Okanagan Potters Association Show June 7&8 in Vernon

Peter Flanagan’s break from working in clay lasted close to nine years. But he has returned and will be taking part in the Okanagan Potters Association show which takes place Friday, June 7 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and again Saturday, June 8 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre.

In this years Spring Show, this diverse group of some of the valleys most sought after potters and artisans are thrilled to be presenting their latest and greatest works. For Flanagan the desire to make work that is both personally challenging in scale and design is most gratifying, especially when well received by the public. The years of hiatus have paid off in a new found expression and appreciation for working in clay.

Taking a straight job after some 22 years of working as a professional potter was a challenge in itself for Flanagan. After stepping aside from the family-owned pottery studio to allow aging parents to downsize, a job opportunity presented itself out of the blue. Sales in rehab mobility equipment followed.

Thankfully the opportunity for Flanagan to create a home-based pottery studio again in Peachland took place a couple years ago. Along with life partner Daphne, the studio is back in full swing. Continuing to work in high fire porcelain, the studio utilizes a large gas fired car kiln, which has the capacity to fire up to 1,300 C and hold approximately 60 cubic feet of work. Along with a wide range of pottery the kiln allows for the firing of a single one-of-kind sculptural plate, up to 30 inches in diameter.

Known for a range of porcelain that utilized the grape leaf as a central motif in design, Flanagan’s latest work has taken an exciting turn employing both locally sourced native clays and a variety of natural wood ashes. Fir, pine and cherry wood ash each impart their unique properties of fluid, flowing and colourful combinations of matte and glossy surfaces.

Flanagan has recently returned from Victoria where he was invited to be part of the Fired Up! groups 35th annual show. This show originally organized by the world renowned potter Robin Hopper, seeks to educate the public about the diversity of contemporary works in clay. This years show theme was ‘Monumental’ and the scale of works in clay really pushed the limits of clay as sculptural medium.

Recently joining the Okanagan Potters Association (OKPA), Flanagan is happy to be participating in the free show this weekend.

Related: Kintsugi: Broken pottery becomes more beautiful, precious

Related: Vernon pottery show supports NOYFSS program

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