I grew up in Thunder Bay and was introduced to clay playing on the beaches of Black Bay in Dorion where our family had a family cottage. As a teen my grandfather helped me build a potters wheel and gradually I picked up basic skills. I continued to pursue ceramics through the fine arts program at Lakehead University .

After 30 years of working in clay, function continues to be the basis for most of my ideas as a potter. I like that pottery is experienced both as a visual  as well as a physical thing appreciated in the context of use, not something that just sits on a shelf. I would even argue that we do not fully appreciate a pot unless we are able to handle and use  it.

I continue to  work at a potters wheel, working in series of cups, bowls, or plates. This process helps me explore variations on a form and refine the original idea. Typically, new ideas emerge slowly out of the day to day making cycle.

During the summer  I work at my Island studio and house in Rossport perched on the rim of Lake Superior. The view to open water and nearby islands is wide and always in the background. It encourages a feeling of expanse. Images from  life in the boreal forest and the lake regularly find their way on to my work in one way or another. The wood fired Japanese climbing kiln I built in 1997 is used 3 or 4 times a year. I also have a studio in Thunder Bay where I fire with a gas kiln.

What I love about clay and what keeps me going as a potter, are the seemingly endless possibilities of the material and the direct engagement with the moment.

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Island Pottery Logo - Tim AlexanderTim Alexander Island Studio