Celebrate Canada Day with 2 new Guest Artists!

July 1, 2016

That's right, this month we are hosting not 1 but 2 guest artists. What's more Canadian then sharing even more #canadianceramics with you all?

 

Please help us to welcome Jing Huang and Cheng-Ou Yu of Ontario.

 

 

 

Jing Huang

 

1. Where is your studio located? How long have you been there? What's one of the perks of being a maker in that community?

I’m currently an Artist-in-Residence at the Harboufront Centre in Toronto. So this is my studio now! I’ve been here since last November. It’s so happy and precious that you can work in a community where everyone can understand, encourage and inspire each other.

 


2. Can you tell us a bit about one of your mentors, someone without who you likely wouldn't be a ceramic artist.

Linda Sormin. She is my first professor when I just came to Canada. She taught me that life is more than just the grind but rather it is about creating meaning.

 

 

 
3. Looking around your local or provincial community can you name 3 other clay artists that should be on our radar?

Marissa Alexander
Ying-Yueh Chuang
Janet Macpherson

4. Would you describe your work as having any inherent Canadian Aesthetic? If so can you describe how you might perceive stylistic trends in contemporary Canadian Ceramics.

I was born and raised in China. Canada, is a this totally different and diverse environment compared to back home, So after three years learning and doing ceramics here it has allowed me to reflect a lot on my work. My works are the voice and imagination of my life outside my country. They record the feelings and changes in my life. I think it naturally mix with the Chinese (Asian) and Canadian (Western) culture and aesthetics.

 

 

 
5. What are your favorite forms to work with? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Figure. My inspiration comes from my experience living in an unfamiliar environment and landscape. It always refreshes my mind.

 

 
6. Can you retell one of your favorite stories about being an artist?

I have always struggled with my parents inability to understand and appreciate what I am doing now. I have a cousin whom is always a good girl in their eyes – making decisions they believe is right. After she had her own career, she found that she really loves baking. One day she asked me, do you really enjoy what you are doing now? I said yes. And she said she is so jealous of me.

7. Were there any hard challenges you had to overcome in your career? What did you learn from mistakes or challenges? Could you offer some advice for others who are trying to have similar success as makers?

I had a hard time creating my work when I just came to Canada. It has really been a challenge to become familiar with the new materials and methods you’ve never used before, and also the issues of a language barrier. But once you overcome this fear, it’ll become a new land for you! Always fresh and never give up to try new things.

 

 

 

 
8. Favorite artist, ceramic or otherwise.

Akio Takamori I’m so into his work since I started to learn ceramics in China,
and even now.

9. What's on your playlist in the studio? Silence, music, podcasts?

CBC Radio One and music.

 

Cheng-Ou Yu

 

1. Where is your studio located? How long have you been there? What's one of the perks of being a maker in that community?

Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. I’ve been here almost one year. Harbourfront Centre has 5 different studios – Textile, Glass, Ceramic, Design and Metal studio. It’s such a diverse community where can offer you great opportunities to do some collaborative works. That’s very exciting for me.

 

 

 

2. Can you tell us a bit about one of your mentors, someone without who you likely wouldn't be a ceramic artist.

Steven Heinemann. I took his class in Sheridan College and that changed the whole direction of my practice.

3. Looking around your local or provincial community can you name 3 other clay artists that should be on our radar?

Jae Hyun George Cho
Michelle Mendlowitz
Grace Eunmi Lee

 

 

4. Would you describe your work as having any inherent Canadian Aesthetics? If so can you describe how you might perceive stylistic trends in contemporary Canadian Ceramics.

I start my own making process by combining contemporary western approaches that I learned in Canada, with the influence of Chinese traditions in ceramics. So I think my work definitely has Canadian aesthetic since I studied two years in Canada. What inspires me to develop my idea and my work is from here, in Canada.

 

 

5. What are your favorite forms to work with? Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Vases. When doing research for my work, I used to look at a lot of historical ceramic pieces, but recently I’m really interested in architecture. So that’s the starting points for developing my new forms.

6. Can you retell one of your favorite stories about being an artist?

One of my professors from China told me that he feel exhausted after staying in the studio overnight. But once he goes home and lie down on the bed. He still couldn’t fall asleep. The ideas keep floating in his mind. He can’t wait to go back to studio next day. I think that’s the best part about being an artist.

 

 

 

 

7. Were there any hard challenges you had to overcome in your career? What did you learn from mistakes or challenges? Could you offer some advice for others who are trying to have similar success as makers?

It’s hard for me to find a good balance between developing new works and making production. Especially working with mold I really need to plan it well in advance. I am still overcoming that. My suggestion is never give up to progressing. Push yourself because no one else will do it for you after you finish your school.

8. Favorite artist, ceramic or otherwise.

Jun Kaneko. His works blows my mind.

 

 

 

9. What's on your playlist in the studio?

 

Silence, music, podcasts. Red Clay Rambler and CBC Radio. Music when I feel tired.

 

 

 

Both artists will have work in the make and do shop the entire month of July.

 

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