1 I work as a potter.
2 I do this creative work because I love to make beautiful useful things. Working with clay is a complex multi-step process and I love all the aspects of creating pottery.
3 Personal qualities that help me in my work are curiosity, community-mindedness, persistence and attention to detail.
4 The greatest challenge around doing this work is timing. Each step of the process must be done at a certain stage of dryness. Having my studio in the backyard is a huge bonus! I can spend a few minutes before bedtime checking the plastic covering pots in progress, flip pieces over so that they dry more evenly, or take care of one step, like stamping the surface.
5 Creative childhood hobbies. Besides baking chocolate chip cookies and making mud pies in the sandbox, I used to spend a lot of time playing with a dollhouse my father built for me, building tiny furniture, sewing clothes for the dolls, and living in an imaginary tiny world.
6 Other creators who inspire you. Such a long list! Walter Ostrom, Bruce Cochrane, Joan Bruneau, Linda Sikora, Katrina Chaytor, Julia Galloway, Ayumi Horie, Steve Godfrey, Sarah Pike, to name but a few.
7 Training that has helped me succeed in this career. I studied ceramics at Sheridan College School of Crafts and Design, and at the Nova Scotia College of Art. I have also done artist residencies at the Archie Bray Foundation, Watershed, and the Banff Centre for the Arts.
8 The biggest myth about this type of work is how creative it is! Craft processes involve so many chores: like mixing glazes and loading kilns, packing and photographing pots, even chopping wood; one must enjoy the technical aspects and practice mindfulness in the repetitive tasks to fully appreciate the creativity involved in ceramics.
9 If you want to work in this field, I suggest that you do it for love. Find yourself a mentor, and immerse yourself in the experience of being a maker.
10 A professional goal I have for the future is to participate in another artists’ residency. The opportunity to focus completely on my work as well as interact with other artists has been an inspiration for me in the past.
11 If you want to see my work, go to www.fredirahnpotter.com Instagram:@fredirahnpotter