Caryl Wilford and Priska Stabel check out one of Wilford's bowls.

Sooke potters in major Victoria sale

South Vancouver Island Potters Guild sale on June 18

ooke potters  Priska Stabel, Caryl Wilford, Barb Bergstrom, and Sharon Bussard-Grove are among 39 ceramic artists who will display their talents and their work on Sat. June 18 at the Fairfield Gonzales Community Place, next to the Moss Street Market in Fairfield.

All of the potters and ceramic artists in Sooke and area are inspired by their surroundings. From the beaches and moss-covered hills to the peeling bark of the Arbutus trees all are fuel for their creative ideas.

Priska Stabel is a potter, paper maker and nature photographer. She left her academic career in plant molecular biology to follow her creative passions.

In 1992 she began with paper making and pottery first in England then Germany and moved to Canada in 1999. In Victoria she has potted with Muriel Sibley since 2000. Moving to Sooke in 2009 has brought her closer to hills and beaches and the richness of natural design. Some of the images find their way onto her pottery.

Sharon Bussard-Grove captures the tiny things into clay. Those small things that go unnoticed but are a part of the environment. It may be a colour, form or texture. She makes functional pottery with an artistic flair and her porcelain  teapots and vessels are always in high demand.

Caryl Wilford will be showing her pottery on the group table. She has only just recently fired up her kiln after a bit of a hiatus. She was a production potter and teacher in South Surrey before moving to Sooke and is itching to get back to a more artistic approach to ceramics.

“I will be taking all the skills I have accumulated along the way,” says Wilford. “It’s about pleasing yourself. I want to make pottery with more “soul.”

Barb Bergstrom is another Sooke potter who is a member of the guild and will also be taking part in the sale.

The location will be a first for Clay Connects, the annual show and sale sponsored by the South Vancouver Island Potters’ Guild.

“It’s a new location and we’re very excited,” said Sooke potter Priska Stabel.

Some of the 39 who will be in Fairfield on June 18, from 10 a.m. to 3.30 p.m have four decades of potting experience; others are relatively new converts to clay. Their pots run the gamut from practical to whimsical to sculptural, small to large, mugs to garden sculpture, in all colours that glaze and underglaze can produce. Prices range from a few dollars to over $100.

The exhibitors work in a variety of styles and materials. Some produce functional tableware; others venture into multi-media, adding such things as glass, beads and fabric to clay pieces including masks and statues.

The aim of the guild, founded in 1999, is to support, motivate and educate artists working in clay.