The community of Wood Buffalo never ceases to amaze me. More often known as Canada’s Oil Sands Capital, Fort Mcmurray is often overlooked as a place of creativity, art and community. I am going to show you throughout my blog posts another side of this world you never would have guessed existed.
I am a member of the Fort Mcmurray Potter’s Guild, it has been around for over 30 years and I have been a potter since the end of 2013. However, about 6 months into my membership the guild underwent a renovation project that was supposed to last 3 months, and ended up taking over one year until it was reopened last June. And since I was away on the Woods Canada Dream Job, I actually haven’t been back into the studio until recently.
Now that it’s been 1.5 years since I’ve been on the wheel, I have decided to hit it full force. The last couple months I have spent an average of 40hrs a week at the studio preparing for the guilds annual Xmas sale and now my first ever Seto Pottery Invite Only Event.
Not only that but since our last AGM meeting we’ve teamed up with the Food Bank and the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo to create 500 handmade bowls for an epic fundraising event.
We have until this summer to produce these bowls and they will be sold at a soup and chill event to raise awareness and funds for the hungry. We started the production with a bang at our guild xmas party last friday and we’ve shot ahead to nearly 100 bowls already! It’s really amazing because I know it’s mostly 2 or three members that are just so passionate and skilled that they are able to manage this.
Most of the guild members are learning as they go, and even though a few have had post secondary training in ceramics, many of us are just every day people learning a craft on our own time. We have about 40 members in the FMPG and on average in an 8hr day people can throw maybe 4 bowls. Just to give you an idea that it is no easy task. I mean there are others who can make 20 in a day but there’s only a few of us that can do that. So 500 bowls in a 6 months is a task that can only be done by dedication and passion for a community in need.
So stay tuned and follow our progress under #EmptyBowls #FMPG and #SetoPottery and i’ll do my best to keep you all updated!