Joining me in conversation from her Pottery studio in Ladysmith, Vancouver Island, ceramicist Mary Fox, chats enthusiastically about her current project, her enduring passion for pottery and how she plans to help the future of young potters in Canada.
With over four decades of experience in ceramics, exhibiting in collections across the world, running her own studio and gallery and collaborating with other artists, Mary explains how pottery still excites her. At this stage of life she still has moments where she is staggered by what comes out of the kiln. In fact, Mary has never wanted to do anything else. She has honed her skill and the ideas are constant; she is never short of design inspiration. Her work keeps growing and she knows she is very fortunate.
Mary is well aware of the challenges that present themselves to young potters who need to develop their skills. They need help to expand their knowledge, buy equipment, make up glazes, fire clay, use a kiln, run a studio, and sell their own work. Her wish is to dedicate the remainder of her life to realizing her dream of creating The Legacy Project, a place to share what she has learned over a lifetime of creating her magnificent studio pottery.
The Legacy Project is Mary’s idea for the future. The rising costs of art school can affect the ability for young ceramicists to perfect their craft and this limits potential. By establishing a 2-year residency program with a 3-year option, The Legacy Project would enable a potter, under the age of 30, to develop their skills and establish themselves without financial burden. There is potential for 2 resident artists, accommodation for the residency, a throwing studio, a hand-building studio and a gallery for selling their own work. Other than purchasing supplies everything is taken care of by the Project.
About a year ago Mary set up an endowment fund for The Legacy Project under the umbrella of the Crafts Council of B.C. and is fundraising to ensure sufficient finances will be in place to run the project in perpetuity. Key to promoting the project is her book ‘My Life As A Potter’ from Harbour Publishing which took 3 years to produce and follows the creative journey of her life. It is part memoir and part text book written to share technical advice as well as offering inspiration. Funds from the purchase of her book go directly to the endowment and towards building the future for Canadian ceramics. It is available worldwide from March 2021.
My Life As A Potter by Mary Fox ISBN 978-1-55017-938-5 7.25″ x 11.75″ – 240 pages Illustrated with 284 colour and 45 black and white photographs.The book is also available from independent bookstores across Canada as well as Indigo.ca, Amazon.ca, and directly from Harbour Publishing