The day was warm and sunny, the scenery spectacular, the company amusing. The perfect way to spend my birthday! My husband took me to Bowen Island, near Vancouver, B.C. on July 5th. Our destination was only a 15-minute ferry ride from BC Ferries’ Horseshoe Bay terminal, but once we arrived at Snug Cove, it seemed hundreds of miles away. We’d left ‘city time’ and entered ‘island time,’ sweet, syrupy and slow, accented with drifts of lavender, foxglove, and daisies.
Artisan Square: After looking at the library’s heritage Craftsman architecture, we started ascending Cates Hill. Our destination was Artisan Square. The 15-minute walk took us through cool primeval forest: towering hemlocks and giant ferns. The sun’s rays illuminated mosses and forest floor. We chugged up the well-groomed trail, part paved, part dirt, part stairs. Finally, we arrived at the square, new buildings decorated with Arts & Crafts touches. After peeking into this window and that, Mark said, look, ceramics, so we entered Cloudflower Clayworks.
Local Artisan: There, owner/artisan Jeanne Sarich showed us her spacious studio and talked about her work. She’s worked in clay since she was a tot of four, using clay from the streambeds on the family property in Surrey. Her pottery library is on display at the front of the studio, surrounded by porcelain and stoneware. Sarich said she has developed all her own glazes and has worked to replicate ancient Chinese glazes. You can see two of her pieces in the accompanying slide show. The turquoise vessel was impressed with a springerle rolling pin, formed on a slump mold, then glazed with copper and tin. My husband gave it to me for my birthday and it is lovely. The last slide shows it being used as a vase, holding the beautiful bouquet my neighbor gave me. My mother bought me the decorative plate. It is beautiful…an impressed design is in the centre and there is a pattern of swirls in the clay, reminiscent of water. It is glazed with the turquoise and a dark green and is very restful. Jeanne told us of an upcoming exhibition at Artisan Square, which has a number of other studios and galleries and I hope to cover it soon.