Maker: Amber Road Pottery

I did a Q&A with Amber Road Pottery’s Alex Ora – I had no idea Tuwanek was home to a pottery instruction studio!
Amber Road Pottery Glaze Hut
Alex, how did you get into pottery? 
So many years ago through Emily Carr’s Outreach Program when I was living in Dawson Creek, B.C. up north.  It led me to become a student of pottery, then a potter, then a high school teacher of pottery and art.
How long does it take the average child/adult to learn the basics so they can start experimenting? 
Clay is so friendly that it can become personal and a medium for experimenting with very little training, a few hours.  But the range of ability levels are many.Do you fire pottery for people? 
I can custom fire pottery work for people at a cone 04 to 06 level.Do you sell your work anywhere? 
I sell my work from a modest pottery studio in Tuwanek.  Mostly I teach people how to make in clay.

What has been your favourite project to work on?
I love to make traditional complex forms like teapots and casserole dishes in Japanese glazes because they are so gorgeous.
How long have you lived in Tuwanek/on the Coast?
I have been building and developing a teaching studio in Tuwanek for five years.
What is your perfect day?
My perfect day would start by greeting a group of bouncing (enthusiastic) children at the top of my driveway, lead them into my shaded yard, then my studio to play with clay and discover MAKING.  The whole day through, they delight me with their abandon to the rules of the material of clay.  With their sense of untethered adventure and my watchful eye their energy just seems to flows into objects of blissful art.  I know it sounds too good, really, but I have had days just like this……..perfect!
What’s an ‘ocarina’ and where does it come from? 
Ocarinas are clay whistles and they have occurred independently in different parts of the world, not known by this name necessarily.  Most well known to us here in North America they are very popular in Mexico and South America and have been known recently to be busked along the beaches in tourist towns.  They are more than a functional whistle and take on the form of animals or objects.  I like my students to make their ocarinas into a sculpture of a favourite cartoon character.
Well….. that was more fun than I thought it would be!
Cheers, Alex Ora

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