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Participating artists: Nicole Baxter, Linda Chow, Robin Dupont, Milt Fischbein, Matt Gould, Terry Hildebrand, Brad Keys, Eveline Kolijn, Diane Krys, Darren Petersen, Jean-Claude and Talar Prefontaine, Shona Rae and Simon Wroot.

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Alberta Craft Blog

Entries in maker (2)

Wednesday
Jul242019

Meet the Maker - Robin Dupont

Robin Dupont’s experience in the field of ceramics has been wide-ranging and includes educational training from four institutions, in three different countries and takes great pride in passing all his knowledge on to his students.

 

For the summer issue of Alberta Craft Magazine we had a chat with ceramic artist Robin DuPont about his experience as an educator...after all, it was an issue on education! Read on to know more about Robin DuPont and Meet the Maker. When you are done you can watch this video interview for the 2013 RBC Emerging Artist Award

 

Alberta Craft Council: Is teaching a major part of your creative practice or something you do occasionally?

Robin DuPont: Teaching has been a significant part of my life since completing my master’s degree in 2011. I teach a full semester at Kootenay Studio Arts (KSA) in the fall and often more, teaching workshops abroad and here on my property. I also have an assistant in my studio that is working beside me learning. By articulating ideas out loud to others it forces you to solidify them in some way in your head. I read that Einstein said, “you don’t truly know something until you can teach it”.

ACC: How do you balance your creative practice with teaching?
 

RD: My creative practice is all about learning. Teaching is all about passing that information on. I have been fortunate to have learned from some amazing teachers and, in turn, that makes me passionate about giving back.

I am currently teaching at KSA at Selkirk College in Nelson, BC. Three faculty split the course load. Job sharing allows for time in the studio to continue my own creative practice. This is win-win for both students and faculty as it gives me time to push my own work further.

 

ACC: In what ways do you advise students just starting out, to work smarter?

RD: When you are young it is easy to push yourself, sometimes beyond your limits both physically and mentally. I think it is important to work hard but figure out your limitations and set boundaries. In saying that, it is important to do this in a sustainable way, learning how to care for your body right off the bat is imperative and will pay dividends later in your career.

ACC: Looking back, do you have a teacher who was especially inspiring?

RD: I’ve had many teachers who I think of regularly in the studio and when I am teaching. To name a few: Bob Reimer, John Chalke, Jim Etzkorn, Tom Rohr, Katrina Chaytor, Greg Payce - they
were all generous and inspiring in different ways.

ACC: What is an important event that helped shape your career?

RD: During my first year at ACAD (before I decided to major in ceramics) the visiting artist was Tom Rohr. Tom communicated so many things about clay and ceramics that have ever since been at the core of why I work in clay and make the objects I do.

ACC: What is your favourite handcrafted piece in your home by another artist?

RD: I have many favourite pieces, not really one at all. It’s a little like asking which of my children is my favourite! I’ve been collecting pots for a long time and I have an extensive collection. I love how pots carry so much information and are complex little objects - some are my favourites because of how they function, others remind me of people and places.

 

Robin obtained his BFA from Alberta University of the Arts, Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, BC, the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia, and completed his MFA graduate degree at Utah State University in Logan, Utah.

Follow his atmospheric kiln adventure's on instagram @robindupontceramics

Tuesday
Jan222019

Meet the Maker - Shona Rae


A self-proclaimed ‘Madwoman’ and an obsessive maker and songwriter, Shona Rae maintains a commitment to the study, practice, and education of art, craft, design, and rock and roll.

We asked Shona Rae a few questions about her inspiration and her most precious studio item. 

Alberta Craft Council: Having studied ceramics, theatre, dance, storytelling, puppetry, painting, fibre, and music, how do you decide what to work on in a day?

Shona Rae
: I don’t stick to one genre in art, nor will I do it in my music. While I admire artists who can make 30 of one sculpture, it’s just not who I am. I am constantly working on many things at once and I don’t mind if things take years to make, especially when one is immersed in such an intense and satisfying creative process. 

ACC: How has your love of lore impacted your work? What is your favorite fairytale?

SR:
I have been obsessively reading myths and stories from all cultures my entire life, but I didn’t realize how much knowledge had accumulated until I took an English class at ACAD about myths. When the professor would ask a question, everyone would turn to me because I often knew the answer. This class helped me come to an understanding that I needed to do my entire fairytale collection.
My favorite fairytale is “The Goose Girl,” although I don’t have work inspired by this tale in my collection. A close second would be “Bluebeard,” which I have created entire exhibitions about.

Eros and Psyche / The Lovers (VI) (detail). Sleeping Beauty (II). Shona Rae

ACC: Was there an important event that helped shaped your career?
 

SR:
When I was studying jewellery in school, my instructor told me I had to make rings to make it in the industry, and I vowed never to make rings. But never say never. I had two exhibitions at the Alberta Craft Gallery (2006 and 2015) and both were part of a series of rings. I am thankful for the Alberta Craft Council for supporting my work, which navigates the boundaries between jewellery and sculpture. 


ACC: What is your favorite thing in your studio?

SR: I have wolf and bear skulls in my studio. People bring me skulls and bones all the time and I can be seen sporting a carved bone or two on my person.

Visit the Blackboard Gallery in cSPACE King Edward in Calgary, AB. Consider bringing a bone as tribute.
Instagram @sraeblackboard