I discovered clay at the early age of 15 while attending Canterbury High School in Ottawa, Ontario in the Vocational Art program. John Topelko, my art teacher was a great influence, and from his suggestion I enrolled in Sheridan School of Design in Mississauga Ontario. Angela Fina and Bob Held in ceramics and glass were constant sources of inspiration there.
From Sheridan, I continued on to Georgian College School of Design and Visual Art in Barrie Ontario. Under the tutelage of some notable rising stars in their fields, the likes of Robin Hopper, Roger Kerslake, Ann Mortimer and Roman Bartkew, I found myself drawn towards the traditional English pottery styles and methods and also explored various firing techniques as well in wood, salt and raku for example. Other creative influences developed at the University of Calgary, Fine Arts program with Vic Broz , Santo Mignosa, and Barbara Tipton as professors.
Along the way, I have set up studios where I lived. “Springhill Pottery” was a farmhouse summer kitchen studio in.. you guessed it … Springhill, Ontario. Then we moved into an old firehouse in Hull, Quebec and I made pots on the ground floor while we lived upstairs. This studio was called “La Station de Feu”.
When my husband John got a great job offer in Calgary Alberta, we decided to move west and ultimately stayed there for over thirty years. I studied ceramics at the University of Calgary, then raised a family and made pots at a community pottery studio called North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre. NMPAC had a 25cu ft gas fired salt kiln that took up a lot of my time. It was there that I honed the skills needed to “encourage and control” the flame, as I mentioned in my Artist Statement. After years spent in a city environment, we decided to move to Salt Spring Island on Canada’s west coast, a small island, rich in artists, potters and musicians. I have since set up Mudpuppy Pottery Studio which overlooks the ocean from the studio window, a most inspiring view. The work you see on this website is the product of my current efforts and explorations here. All my pottery is fired in a 15 cu. in. gas fired soda/salt kiln, built by Graham Sheehan from Gabriola Island BC.
Inspiration and growth has accrued over the years by attending workshops given by these Canadian artists:
Robin Hopper www.chosinpottery.ca
Harlan House www.harlanhouse.com
Joe Fafard www.joefafard.com
Richard Gill www.facebook.com/Richard-Gill-Artist
Ann Mortimer www.annmortimerceramics.com
Roger Kerslake www.kerslakepottery.com
Tony Clennell www.smokieclennell.blogspot.ca
Jefferey Oestreich www.oestreichpottery.com
Meira Mathison www.meiramathison.com
Cathi Jefferson www.cathijefferson.com
Brendan Tang www.brendantang.com
Mudpuppy Studio’s work can be found at:
Philosophically speaking, everything you do today will reflect upon what you do tomorrow. This philosophy is not lost in John Reid’s art.
Reid’s background is in Graphic Design. While studying design in the onset of his career, he took several options in fine art, consequently developing a keen interest in sculptural forms. This blended well as a designer. Working for a large corporation that regularly attended international trade shows, he designed award winning booths that were in effect “a provocative art form within a confined space.” says Reid.
In addition, for over a decade in Reid’s design career, he worked as an art director on multiple corporate publications. Paper choices became a large part of the design equation. His passion for embracing these materials and exploring their full potential garnered two awards for design excellence from notable paper mills.
With a fruitful career in corporate graphics behind him now, making the transition from designer to artist was not a difficult one. Believing that “you should leverage upon what you have already learned”, Reid has returned to his sculptural roots and is again examining the qualities of paper, this time in concert with clay.
At his studio on Salt Spring Island he has embarked on blending paper fibres, in various ratios with stoneware clay, altering its traditional stock qualities and creating organic forms that are both provocative and whimsical.
Alongside Mudpuppy Studios, I also operate Mudpuppy Academy, a busy sewing school based out of our space on Salt Spring Island. To learn more about Mudpuppy Academy, please click on the link below.