Much of my training has been at La Meridiana International School of Ceramics (http://lameridiana.fi.it) in Italy, located 7 kms from the town of Certaldo pictured above. I was fortunate to do so with funding support from the Ontario Arts Council (http://www.arts.on.ca) ("OAC"), an agency of the Government of Ontario. Firstly, in late 2014, I set about a five-week self-directed residency, working with metallic salts on porcelain which helped me to explore materials and shape my future practice.
In 2016/2017, I participated in "Creative Directions", a group mentorship program presented by FUSION The Ontario Clay & Glass Association and which was led by Toronto-based artist Michelle Mendlowitz. This was challenging in many ways which led to a positive outcome of new ideas, new connections, and, as part of a group, my first major gallery exhibition.
Then, in late 2017, again with OAC funding support in the National & International Residency program, I was able to re-attend La Meridiana for "Piccolpasso", an eight-week mentored residency under the guidance of John Colbeck (UK) and Franco Rampi (IT). It truly was the opportunity of a lifetime, where and when I learned so much more than I could have imagined, and I continue to discover things I didn't realise that I had learned at the time. The complexity of simplicity - it changed everything.
As my practice continues to evolve, I continue to be inspired by the people, art, culture, history, and food of Italy, particularly the Slow Food Movement, the support for local economy, and the art of living well. Lastly, a tip of the hat to Roger Kerslake, a lifelong English potter, artist, teacher who led the ceramics program for many years at Georgian College in Barrie, ON, whilst maintaining his own studio practice. For this potter, he wholly represents the ethos -and remains to be an inspiration - of what it is to be a potter as he continues to operate his studio in nearby Jarratt, ON.