Still Fired Up After All These Years!
The Parkland Potters Guild started in 1976. Over the years the guild has been a strong knit social group. Some members have moved on, some have passed away. And new blood comes in. Following are some of the highlights over the years.
The Early Days
- Bob Barclay – President
- Margaret Pike – Vice President
- Mary Ulrich – Secretary/Treasurer
- First grant application – August 1976. The grant was $3600 (the Guild had to match that amount and did so through sales at the farmers market) and the funds were used for the gas kiln.
- Permit to develop site – October 76 to April 77
- Started building – spring 1977 (names should still be on the concrete)
- First gas kiln firing – October 1977
- First kiln manual – March 77
Members of the Guild worked together to create a clay mosaic that focused on life in the early 1900s. The project involved a large number of the members and can still be seen on the west wall of the firehall in Stony Plain, next door to the Guild.
More information needed here regarding the rebuilding of the gas kiln and expansion of the grainery. The shed expansion and kiln rebuilding were done by Guild members.
The Guild celebrated 35 years in 2011. There were a number of activities over the year but one of the highlights was entering a float in the local parade. “We are quite excited about our float with a kick wheel and potter demonstrating throwing. We really are wondering what the pots will look like after all the stopping and starting of the quad that is pulling the float. We are confident that if anyone can throw on a moving float it is Bob Barclay, master potter. Jan Lloyd has ordered candy for the children and is making coupons for a draw of gift certificates for the gallery to be handed out to the adults. ”
Renovations to the studio in 2014
In April 2014 the Guild got a facelift! Renovations included a new floor, removal of the cloak room (adding more space to the glaze room), widening of doors, a fresh coat of paint throughout, and reorganization of the shelving. The result – a brighter, more functional studio! The committee that led the renovations was Bob Barclay, Clarice Cameron, Jan Haines, and Sandra Thornton, painting was done by Janel Padberg, and many, many Guild members lent a hand with packing up and clearing out the Guild for the renovations, and then putting everything back in place once the work was done.
On June 17, 2017 Parkland Potters demonstrated their skills outside the Crooked Pot Gallery. The challenge was to throw 150 pots for 150 years! Not only did they achieve the goal, many members of the public enjoyed watching the potters at work.
Alberta Culture days 2018
Lots of people toured the gallery and studio and watched potters in action as once again they vied to create the largest bowl and the tallest pot. This year, the largest bowl went to Brenda Evjen followed by Cheryl Anderson.The tallest vessel went to Jan Haines with an 11” beauty! Honorable mention to Sandra Thornton. Twenty-five children had an opportunity to get their hands into the clay and to try some hand building under the tutelage of Barb Watchman. We also had our 3 new guild members come by for their orientation.
Alberta Culture Days 2021
Despite the ongoing issues with the Covid 19 pandemic, our guild managed to participate in Alberta Culture Days 2021 with demonstrations and displays held outdoors. Events included competitions for the tallest vase and our own Dianne Meili performing her enchanting tale for the crowds . Guests were able to take home beautifully rakued bear ornaments created and fired by our talented members. Thanks again to all who came out to celebrate the arts in Alberta with us!
Do you have a story or memories to share about the history of the Parkland Potters Guild? Please share it – post it in the comment box below!