Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Ida MacKay Pottery

The ceramic creations of Ida MacKay of Mount Stewart, PEI remains some of the most distinctive pottery produced during the 1970's and 1980's on the Island due to her use of an unglazed but highly textured surface. Using various processes she produced work with a natural organic feel.

She studied under both Barry Jeeves and Ron Arvidson at Holland College School of Visual Arts in Charlottetown.

Her interest in art and pottery is captured in the landmark book by Gail Crawford, Studio Ceramics in Canada 1920–2005.
Throughout my pursuit of word and image, I met and became friends with some remarkablepeople. One was Ida MacKay of Mount Stewart, Prince Edward Island, who came to Toronto in the 1930s to pursue psychiatric nursing and, at night, to study pottery-making at Central Technical School. One of her pieces appears in Chapter 1. When war broke out, she enlisted, and, as Lieutenant MacKay, she survived several adventures, including abandoning her torpedoed ship near Gibraltar while en route to Italy to care for Canadian troops. In 1970, when she finished her peacetime career in public health, she returned to clay. No longer interested in wheel work, she enrolled in a workshop in Charlottetown that focused on the stretched-slab technique, conducted by Alberta College of Art instructor . . .
Ida used her initials in a vertical format I M M as her potter's mark along with the province "PEI" indicated.

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - St. Clair Pottery

Harry and Dodi Morris lived in various locations on the Island and the St. Clair name came from their sojourn in the historic home - St. Clair House - located in the middle of what is now a suburban area in the Brighton neighbourhood of Charlottetown. As the oldest house in the area, it had extensive grounds extending through a full block, and had several additions to the original structure over the years with multiple staircases giving it the feel of a country inn.

To St. Clair House, the Morrises brought their love of Island sandstone, the native rock of PEI, and added what would become their signature renovation, added to each of their houses - a sandstone fireplace.

From Charlottetown they moved to Victoria, PEI which is well known for its quaint village atmosphere and the artistic community that gravitates there. Their Victoria home and studio, continued since the early 1980's to house various tourist businesses; an antique clock shop and currently The Studio Gallery have followed Dodi and Harry's lead, helping to make the village a special place.

The work of Harry and Dodi Morris made during the 1960's and 1970's carries the pottery mark of St. Clair Pottery - St. C. P., as well as P.E.I. for Prince Edward Island. Often their work had a nautical theme and included slab built row boats.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Jeeves Pottery

Potter, Barry Jeeves along with his wife Joan, an accomplished weaver, arrived on PEI from Banff, Alberta in the early 1970's, so that Barry could accept employment with what was then called the Handcraft Training Centre and eventually became Holland College School of Visual Arts.

Barry was a graduate of the Ontario College of Art in Toronto and Sir George Williams College of Art, Montreal.

The family purchased property, and built their home and studios on the Brackley Point Road, with a retail shop for the summer tourist trade, and Barry teaching pottery during the school year.

When MS kept Barry from working full time, he continued to teach part-time and had a major influence on arts education in Prince Edward Island. When he became confined to a wheelchair he continued to focus his attention on an art form that required less physical ability. He returned to his painting, and would locate buildings which had both an elevator and a view so that he could paint urban scenes from new perspectives.

Both Barry and Joan maintained an active interest in the Arts. His art work was represented in Charlottetown by Details Past and Present Fine Art and Antiques.

Barry used a potter's mark a stamp with the mark "Jeeves P.E.I." he also used a signature "Jeeves PEI".

From the collection of Tom Banks
From the collection of Tom Banks

From the collection of Tom Banks

From the collection of Tom Banks

On May 10, 2015, Barry died. He was a true builder and left an enduring influence on the development of craft as a viable art form on Prince Edward Island. When he arrived he was one of only a few professional craftspeople on the Island; now, his adopted island has become known as a hot bed of fine craft and young artisans are able to pursue their craft at a professional level.

Barry Jeeves' favorite poem:
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.
Carl Sagan

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - New London Village Pottery - Kathy Ethridge

Kathy Ethridge join Village Pottery around 2004 and is a multi-talented craftsperson who besides being a potter, is also an accomplished spinner, weaver, and woodworker.

In 2010, along with partner Robert Kennedy she opened Everyday Pottery in Kensington, PEI.

While working at Village Pottery, she signed her work with the studio name as well as her own initials "KE."

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - New London Village Pottery - Christopher Dahn

In the summer of 2009 Christopher Dahn, who had studied at Nova Scotia College of Art & Design worked at New London Village Pottery. During that time his work was signed with the studio name, as well as his own name or initials.

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Koleszar Pottery

Hedwig Koleszar has been a PEI potter for over thirty years and is the owner operator of Koleszar Pottery located on the Gairloch Road, in Eldon, PEI.

She was the subject of a feature article in the BUZZ recently.

Hedy uses her signature as her potter's mark signing each piece, "Koleszar - PEI."

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Little Orchard Studios - Ron Arvidson

Little Orchard Studios, opened in South Melville, PEI in the late 1970's with the work of a husband and wife team - potter, Ron Arvidson and Anne, a jeweler, established their business on their home property, where they had already established a young orchard.

Ron trained at the University of Saskatchewan, in Regina which had emerged as a major centre for the ceramic arts, and upon graduation advanced his studio pottery techniques within the Norman-Crimmins partnership studio in Keswick-Ridge NB, now known as Crimmins Studio.

Hired by Holland College School of Visual Arts in Charlottetown in the mid 1970's he influenced a generation of potters through his involvement as pottery instructor. The school closed in the 1990's but Ron continues to teach evening courses through a local pottery co-op, and is an active PEI naturalist.

An article on Ron's background as a potter and artist is contained within the Provincial Art Bank website.

Ronald Arvidson of South Melville, Prince Edward Island received a Teaching certificate and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Regina. He has received also the Andromeda Scholarship from the Banff School of Fine Art and has attended numerous workshops in art, pottery, graphic design and computer.

Arvidson has taught pottery, painting and drawing for more than 25 years, and has exhibited in group and solo exhibitions across Canada.

He has works in numerous public and private collections including the Confederation Centre Gallery, Charlottetown PEI and a Sundial installed on the clock tower of Charlottetown City Hall.

Artist Statement:
My development in clay has been through training, production, teaching and creating one-of -a-kind work of both a functional and sculptural nature. I endeavor to keep moving forward and have my work grow whether it be through repetition or one-off work.

His work is signed "Arvidson PEI."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Stanley Studios - Malcolm & Michael Stanley

Malcolm Stanley apprenticed in the early 1970's in the Norman-Crimmins partnership studio in Keswick-Ridge NB. The studio relocated and is now known as Crimmins Studio, with the current involvement of a second generation member of the Crimmins family.

Much like his mentor, Malcolm would find that his son Michael Stanley would also embrace pottery as his chosen art form. Moving to PEI in the early 1970's Malcolm and Christine (a weaver) began selling their work through a variety of studios they operated in northern Queens Co.

They were partners in the 1980's in a business, and continued to sell their items through a shop located appropriately enough in - Stanley Bridge.

Eventually establishing their own shop and studio, Stanley Studios, in a wooded area of the Dixon Rd. - Breadalbane, next to their home. They have been joined in the business by their son Michael, an accomplished potter.

Malcolm's early work used "Stanley - PEI" as well as the year, as his potter's mark.

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Stoneware Pottery - Sandi Mahon & Katharine Dagg

Stoneware Pottery was established in Milton, PEI in 1973 following graduation from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, in Halifax of Sandi Mahon.

Returning to her native province she opened a shop and studio near Charlottetown. In the late 1970's Katharine Dagg, a designer and college instructor at Holland College School of Visual Arts joined her in the business. Working together on each piece Katharine handled the decoration and glazing as well as slab work, with Sandi doing all wheel throwing, they built up one of the longest established craft businesses in the Maritimes when they retired after 35 years in business.

Typically all work was signed by the two potters with Sandi using her first name and Katharine her last name and included PEI. As well a studio potters mark was used on the foot of the pot with a stylized mark for the initials of Stoneware Pottery.

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - New London Village Pottery - Patti Hawkins

Patti Hawkins began her pottery career at New London Village Pottery, studying with Daphne Large while she was employed in the shop.

Her work during that time included both the shop name "Village Pottery" - as well as her own initial and name, "PHawkins."

Since establishing Hawkins Pottery Studio in North Granville, her work has been signed with "Patti Hawkins."

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - New London Village Pottery - Barb Graham

Barb Graham grew up around the corner from New London Village Pottery and quickly developed an interest in pottery making. From working within the shop, she quickly progressed to study pottery at the post-secondary level, under Ron Arvidson at Holland College School of Visual Arts, in Charlottetown, PEI.

After graduating from college, she returned to work at Village Pottery before establishing her own with a studio in New London.

During the time she worked at Village Pottery during the 1980's she signed her work with the shop signature as well as her own name "Barb".

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - New London Village Pottery - Christine Campbell

The potter with the longest connection to New London Village Pottery, beside the founder, Daphne Large, is Christine Campbell. Christine began work as a summer sales clerk while attending school and would bicycle to work from Kensington, being too young to hold a driver's license.

Pottery became her passion and she eventually trained with Daphne as a potter. A quick learner, she was able to advance her skill level through self-instruction and practice, and returned to Village Pottery as a studio potter, once her three sons were old enough for her to work full time.

Typically her work is signed with "Village Pottery - PEI - ACC" (being her initials).

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - New London Village Pottery - Large

New London Village Pottery has operated since 1973, and has trained and employed a number of potters over that time. Started by Daphne Large following her graduation from Nova Scotia College of Art & Design, she has typically signed all her work since with "Large - Village Pottery - PEI", as well as including the year.

Staff would find it humourous in the early days when customers would repeatedly pick up items all marked Large and say - "Do you have things in any other sizes ?"

As other potters joined the operation they would also sign their work "Village Pottery - PEI" but often add their own initials or name.

Confusion existed with a business in Nova Scotia which had opened around the same time also called Village Pottery. The addition of New London to the name helped but it was a long name to place on every piece of pottery. The Nova Scotia business eventually changed their business name which solved the issue.

In 1973 all work was in a red earthenware, but in the late 1980's a transition was made to a white clay body. In 2010 some work is made with a reddish clay but the majority is based on white.

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Malone

The recent surfacing of a piece of pottery by a local collector sparked the questions as to who was/is the potter signing their work with the following mark ? The work appears to indicate good level of skill in throwing with thin walls and an eye for shape, yet being an unglazed piece makes one wonder if it may have been student work which somehow never got glazed.

If you have any ideas please let us know.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Mary Allison Doull (1866 – 1953) - PEI's First Professional Woman Artist

While Mary Allison Doull (1866–1953), is well known as PEI's first professional woman artist, she was also the first professional studio potter to operate on Prince Edward Island. While production pottery had been established locally with the short-lived PEI Pottery Company, it was Mary's work that would produce the first studio pottery from local clay and elevate work from simply utilitarian objects to be embraced for their beauty as well as their usefulness.

The Public Archives and Records Office of PEI has a brief biography:

Mary Allison Doull, born on April 13,1866 was the thirteenth child George Doull and Hannah Butcher. George was a cabinet maker and had a furniture factory in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. She studied art at Mt. Allison in Sackville, New Brunswick and, following graduation, taught art classes in Charlottetown and Summerside for several years before moving to a studio in New York. She also studied at Academie Julien in Paris and exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Francais and at the International Union. For three years she had a studio and gift shop in Bar Harbor, Maine. A portrait and landscape painter she became interested in pottery while studying at the National Academy of Design and did a lot of work with Island clay when she returned to PEI in the late 1920s and converted an unused Methodist church in Cape Traverse into a studio where she worked and sold her products. She died on 6 June 1953.

Pottery Book Ends by Mary Allison Doull.
From family collection of Ian & Daphne (Large) Scott

From family collection of Ian & Daphne (Large) Scott
 She struggled with her glazes and firing with many of her surviving pieces having glaze runs at the bottom.

Pottery Vase by Mary Allison Doull.
From Provincial Collection of PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation.
Her initials were MAD and that is one form that she used as her studio mark. She also used "M A Doull - P E Island" on some pieces. She also used MD combining the two letters so that the finishing stroke of the M and the opening stroke of the D were the same line. Known for her use of strong colours in her glazes, typically all her work was in red earthenware, from local clay bodies.

From family collection of Ian & Daphne (Large) Scott
Bowl by Mary Allison Doull
From family collection of Ian & Daphne (Large) Scott

Vase by Mary Allison Doull
From collection of Tom Banks

Vase by Mary Allison Doull
From collection of Tom Banks

Pottery mark used by Mary Allison Doull

Pottery mark used by Mary Allison Doull

Pottery made by Mary Allison Doull - collection of Catherine G. Hennessey

Pottery made by Mary Allison Doull - collection of Catherine G. Hennessey

Glazed bottoms were typical of much of her work using a trivet to keep things from sticking to the kiln. This often caused problems with glazes that were quite thick and ran during the firing thus sticking to kiln shelves during firing.

Mary Allison Doull operated a Charlottetown studio which was advertised in the Daily Examiner 29 Nov, 1893 on page 2 - the ad appeared at least until 17 Feb, 1894; she was located in the Stamper block on the Victoria Row section of Richmond St. Years later a nearby shop on Richmond St. would also sell her work when two young women with prominent fathers, Ruth Heartz and Avila Mathieson  sold Mary Allison's work in their shop/library called Blue Doors Rental Library starting in the summer of 1928. Ruth and Avila were daughters of the Lt. Governor  and a former Premier who became Chief Justice of PEI. The lending library rented books to members on a daily basis.
Ruth describes in her biography, The Stranger Within, "We soon expanded into gifts-rather unusual ones at that time-Mary Allison Doull pottery". Their location was on Richmond  "just around the corner from the Queen St and opposite the Royal Bank" - she describes being close to Rum Row an area between Pownal and Queen Streets.

Mary Allison Doull
Photograph from the family collection of James Herbert & Margaret Jewell (Doull) Lord.

Inside Mary Allison Doull's studio, Cape Traverse 
Photograph from the family collection of James Herbert & Margaret Jewell (Doull) Lord
Mary Allison Doull's Studio, Cape Traverse
Photograph from the family collection of James Herbert & Margaret Jewell (Doull) Lord

An excellent article on Mary Allison Doull places her within context as an artist and potter, during a time when very few women pursued these occupations. The article has been removed from the original location and the link connects now to an archived version of the same article. To ensure the content remains available, the text has been copied below. It was originally published under the following title.

Home Is Where the Art Is:
20th-Century Women Visual Artists of Prince Edward Island
Researcher/Writer: Sandy Kowalik
First Hand: Arts Crafts, and Culture Created by PEI Women of the 20th Century 

Mary Allison Doull
Mary Allison Doull broke trail for the 20th century's Island women artists. Her ambition led her beyond the well-tread matrimonial path of her time to the art circles of New York and Paris. Mary was born in Wilmot Valley, the thirteenth of cabinet-maker George Doull and Hannah Butcher's 14 children. Mary's uncle, Mark Butcher, was PEI's most famous cabinet maker. Her later art was grounded in this family tradition of good design and excellence in craft. 
Mary attended Mount Allison Wesleyan Ladies College and Conservatory of Music in 1888, and, after teaching back on the Island for three years, returned to study under John Hammond, RCA. In 1894, she headed to the National Academy of Design in New York, with sister Maria Patience, to study painting and pottery. It was here she was exposed to the miniature revival, and, in time, became well known in New York as an accomplished miniaturist. Doull's most subtle and sensitive works were her portraits and still lifes painted on small pieces of ivory. 
In 1894, Doull set up a Fifth Avenue painting/teaching studio and immersed herself in the New York art world. As a member of the Catharine Loriland Wolfe Art Students League and The New York Pen and Brush Club, she had contact with most rising artists of her day. But Mary always retained her ties to the Island, coming back "home" most summers to work and teach. She influenced many girls and women, some of whom, most notably Georgie Read Barton, went on to become professional artists and teachers in their own right. 
Mary Allison Doull was one of the 200 or more Canadian artists, including Emily Carr and James Wilson Morrice, who made the trip to Paris before the First World War. At the age of 44 she studied at the Academie Julien and travelled to Italy. Her paintings were shown at the Expositions Annuelles des Beaux Art in 1910, 1911, and 1912. 
Doull was also active in the United States, showing with New York Watercolour Club in 1911 and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art in 1912. She was perhaps the only Islander ever to become a member of the Women's Art Association of Canada (WAAC), the oldest organization of its kind in the world. 
The WAAC was established in 1897 to "develop the art and crafts, primarily for the building of the nation; and then for the benefit of the corporation and the community, which endeavours, in turn, to benefit the individual members of the association, through its efforts to help others" (see Harper). This idea of service to others is a theme common to most women artists throughout the century. Not only did they create their own art, but through teaching and building organizations, they nurtured the growth of art in their communities. 
In 1920, Doull set up a home and studio in Cape Traverse, PEI, permanently retiring here in 1928. She began experimenting with hand-building pottery, tiles, and sculpture made from Island clay. Arthritis in later years forced her to give up painting altogether, and clay became her primary medium. It is interesting to note that at the same time, on the other side of Canada, Emily Carr was also creating small clay items for the tourist market. 
Mary Allison Doull, PEI's first professional woman artist, died in 1953 at the age of 87. 
copied on Feb 21, 2017 from the Internet Archives, which archived a copy of the article originally published by Government of Prince Edward Island website.

Examples of her work is included within the Permanent Collection of the Confederation Centre of the Arts, in Charlottetown.

A recent article about her work was added to the PEI Museum & Heritage Foundation's Flickr site.

Vase by Mary Allison Doull.
Collection of Friends of Eptek Centre - Eptek Art & Culture Centre
Summerside PEI.

Marilyn MacLean - P.E.I. Potters Cove

Marilyn is a student of Ron Arvidson who attended Holland College School of Visual Arts pottery program in 1982 and followed Ron to the P.E....