Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Carl Phillis

Having studied under Ron Arvidson, at Holland College School of Visual Arts, Carl Phillis now works in both ceramic sculpture as well as being a potter. With his father who is also a sculptor working in metal they have executed sculptural commissions that include both media. One prominent one in located in Confederation Landing, on the Charlottetown waterfront.

CBC Artspots featured Carl on their site.

Carl Phillis
Four Acre Farm
Winsloe RR#9
Prince Edward Island

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island - Island Stoneware - Cindy & Darryl Lentz

The potters of Island Stoneware, include owners Cindy and Darryl Lentz located in Borden-Carleton PEI. Right Off The Batt Pottery was the original name of the operation when it was located in Kinkora, but with an expansion and relocation to a new facility, a rename took place in 2014 as well.  All work produced is signed with one studio mark. They explain the derivation of their mark on their website,

Our mark is a representation of the Chinese symbol meaning “together” or “shoulder to shoulder”. We’ve combined it with our last name to express how we work together as one. Every piece of our pottery has been created, in some way or another, by both our hands so a small portion of both of us goes into our pots and eventually into your home.

The website of Island Stoneware includes photographs of their work.

Cindy and Darryl Lentz
Island Stoneware Inc
156 Borden Avenue
Borden-Carleton, PEI
C0B 1X0 Canada
Phone: 902.855.2529
Fax: 902.855.2526
Toll Free: 1.888.734.2529

In 2012 a profile was written on Cindy and Darryl with pictures and video of their pottery and studio.
In 2016 Cindy and Darryl sold Island Stoneware to Chris Palmer a Summerside entrepreneur who operates the manufacturing facility with the help of staff.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Pottery Marks of Prince Edward Island

Pottery has long been marked with the place of production as well as a means of identifying the potter or the studio. Requests from collectors for information on their pottery items has grown into a blog about items produced in Prince Edward Island.

As my wife Daphne Large and daughter Suzanne Scott are potters - I share an interest in the field and thus began compiling information on both current and historic potters on Prince Edward Island.

This listing is not complete, thus we welcome additional information and images to help it grow.

The current listings include, (in no particular order):

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Royal Gift

As a craftsman in the 1970's and 1980's the idea of having an item commissioned as a gift to royalty was pretty special.

The first instance was for the 1973 visit to Prince Edward Island of Queen Elizabeth and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, as part of the celebrations surrounding the centennial of the Island’s entry into Confederation.

Richard Whitlock, a designer had been given hired to compile a collection of PEI photographs and the project had evolved into hand binding a linen-covered album with handwoven PEI linen. Once completed they realized that the book which was larger than an encyclopedia volume needed a proper slip-case and I was approached to make a leather case for the massive book and attach an engraved silver plaque to the top. Never having made anything of this scale previously I was a bit intimated but figured that using techniques similar to that used on smaller items might work. I had also learned when ordering raw materials to order extras in case of an error.

I measured the book but was not allowed to keep in my workshop lest it be damaged and thus was relieved that the actual book fit the leather case when the designer arrived for pick-up a day or two before the presentation ceremony. Richard Whitlock as the designer was invited to be on hand when officials presented the gift, and while the Queen nodded approval with the gift it dawned on him that something was wrong at that point. The box had been designed to open on the right hand side as requested, but the book came out either upside down or backward when taken from the case since it really needed to open on the left side.

A call arrived from Richard shortly afterward wondering if I was available for a consultation. The gifts had become the property of the recipient, but he had convinced someone who was now responsible for caring for the items that the case and book needed to be "touched up" and would be returned to the staff traveling with the royal visitors before the entourage left the province the next day. The question was whether I could disassemble the case and remake it as a left opening case before their departure. Mission Impossible had been a popular TV show and there was both a clandestine aspect and a technical challenge that seemed familiar to the request as tearing it apart to salvage the silver plaque could have ruined the original case. It was something I couldn’t guarantee the results of but was prepared to try.

Luckily I had an extra hide of the special leather ordered for the project should it been needed, and thus began the process of taking apart the top of what was now royal property with the attached silver plaque and remaking a new top then reattaching the silver. The plaque was itself the work of a silversmith and the attachment process was unique as it was sewn onto the leather using silver wires which I made into silver thread. After making each thread I discovered that the only problem was that hand sewing with wire is not an easy process as it could twist and kink on each stitch. Taking the stitching apart was even worse.

Thus began a full night of work in the workshop - but come dawn the case was reconstructed and presented to Richard who quietly returned it to the staff responsible for safe keeping of the various royal gifts. No one was the wiser as to what had actually happened during the period of ‘touch up’ and I went off to get some much needed sleep.

The second time I was approached was in 1983 when the Prince of Wales and Princess of Wales, who had the year before become new parents were visiting. At that time there was an effort to ensure that there would be something of interest to a young child now that the family included one son. The choice was again something handcrafted being a set of pine toys made at the Toy Factory in Murray River operated by the Shumate family. Al Shumate with his long white beard was the quintessential Santa in his workshop for generations of visitors and his toys had a simple elegance. The set chosen included several toy vehicles selected by Henry Purdy, RCA who was head of the Holland College School of Visual Arts at the time, and my employer. He approached me to see if something could be made to enclose the set. The design we settled on included a leather cover that enclosed the set while being easily opened by children to play with the toys. The case was assembled without incident. Henry Purdy was very conscious of showing respect for craftspeople and although invitations to the royal garden party had already been finalized he made sure that two extra tickets were found for my wife, Daphne and myself to attend the event held on the grounds of Government House where the Prince and Princess were the guests of honour.

Having made many items that visitors to PEI have taken home to remember their visit here it was a special honour as a craftsman to be selected to create both these gifts.

Perhaps the story told by my wife Daphne from childhood shows the natural drive within humans to bestow gifts on others, especially upon special visitors. She was an eight year old who had received a set of what was labeled "international candies" a box of chocolates from her parents that had figures wrapped in foil for each nation. Somehow these international candies which represented the native dress of various countries were special for her and worthy of presenting to someone who had also come from afar. Thus during the 1959 visit to Charlottetown of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, this nine year old managed to deliver through the open window of the motorcade one of her treasured candies - her gift to the Queen whom she thought might enjoy one of her treasured chocolates. Not sure lobbing projectiles through open car windows met protocol then or now, or if melting chocolate is ever welcome landing on ones lap, but the intent of a child in sharing something special with others on the spur of the moment was genuine.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

New London's Royal Welcome to Wee Willie The Prince of "Wails"

With the expected visit to PEI of Prince William and his bride-to-be Kate Middleton, we remember pictures of the summer he was born. It was on July 3, 1982 that New London welcomed Wee Willie The Prince of "Wails" in fine style with a commercial note that Transportation Provided by Village Pottery. He had been born two weeks before so his newsworthy arrival was still a current topic in both London and New London.

We marked the birth of Prince William in a unique way that year. With a proper British pram as the Village Pottery float in a local parade we began the 'up hill and down dale' hike pushing the heavy pram through the rolling hills of New London through the mile-long rural parade route.

It was the Saturday of the Canada Day weekend and the parade included fire trucks and a convertible car, commercial entries and floats with dignitaries and people dressed up in period costume. The parade marshal was our beloved postmistress, Kitty Cotton who had operated a general store in the Village Pottery building prior to the shop opening in 1973.

The four of us made it to the end of the route okay although Daphne had just given birth to a real baby three weeks before. Our summer helper, Guy LeBlanc was the official standard bearer marching ahead of us announcing the arrival of the royal pram with a sign, wearing a police hat of uncertain origin.

The baby in the pram was not our newborn, Andrew but our three year old Rob, who - wise beyond his years - was uncertain what he was doing playing a baby in a pram but went along with the venture willingly. We tried to gather what British effects we could and a supply of pristine Canadian red ensigns located at the family cottage added colour along with loads of lupins that grew near our pottery shop.

New London has a share of British history with the initial colony being located near the shore led by Robert Clark, an English Quaker merchant who arrived in 1773 with grand plans of building a settlement rivaling his native London. Patterson, the Governor of the day described Clark vision as
“hoped to make New London a place for the recovering of sinners.”

By 1800 it was clear that Clark's commercial visions would not be realized and the estate had been sold and the houses torn down or moved; the dream of a Quaker colony on St John’s Island was at an end. Yet today the family names of the district include those of the early colonists who can trace their roots back to the original group of settlers generations ago.

It was during the reign of George III and Queen Charlotte, that New London began and it was fitting to welcome their great-great-great-great-great-great grandson into the world in 1982 as it is fitting to welcome he and his bride in 2011.

So from those of us in New London - a hearty welcome to Prince Edward Island - now that you are not so wee.

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....