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Five Questions for Krystal Speck

[images, Krystal Speck]

As longtime fans of ceramicist Krystal Speck, we want to spread the word about her gorgeous pottery and her upcoming with Vancouver Potter and painter Heather Dahl. The show is called "Kindred in Blue + White," which is fitting because we've always felt that Speck's approach to design is very sympatico with that of Covet Garden readers. 

We asked Speck to answer a few questions about herself, her work and the show.

CG: Practically speaking, what do you do?

KS: You can usually find me making pottery, but I also create sculptural ceramics from time to time, and textiles as well.

CG: When did you decide to apply your design skills to porcelain?

KS: I went to art school with the intention of becoming a photographer, but was quickly romanced by ceramics and textiles. I found working with clay to be so much more tactile and engaging, and the teachers in the OCAD ceramics department were so inspiring. Honestly, it caught me totally by surprise, but I’ve been hooked ever since!

CG: Which designers inspire you?

KS: When it comes to form, I know everyone says Eva Zeisel, but how can you not? I will never tire of her designs and so admired her spirit. I also love the simple, modern forms from Heath Ceramics and founder Edith Heath’s approach to designing & manufacturing pottery. When I want to feast on beautiful surface decoration and patterns, I look to Jessie Tait, who designed for Midwinter Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent from the 1940s to the 1980s, and to the vibrant tiles of Toronto’s own Xenia Taler.

CG: What should our readers know about artisan made objects that they may not already know?

KS: That’s a great question. I can get pretty chatty when it comes to ideas about the place and importance of handmade objects (especially of locally handmade objects). I’ve spent a lot of time explaining/defending/romanticizing "the handmade" to people who will listen – but happily, I think I’m preaching to the choir most of the time! People seem to be more informed than ever about what goes into a handmade item in terms of effort and skill. I guess I would just say that if there’s an artist/designer that you absolutely love, tell your friends about them. And then tell them again! Support them when you can. Perhaps take a class with them to experience that medium for yourself.

CG: Tell us a bit about your upcoming show... Any new themes or designs we can look forward to?

Kindred is a collaborative show between myself and Vancouver potter and painter Heather Dahl. We "met" online after admiring each other’s work from afar, and both felt that our work shared a kindred spirit. Over the span of a year, we’ve been corresponding and planning the show, using a blue and white colour palette as our unifying theme. It’s been such a pleasure to work with Heather, and to create new pottery for this exhibition. We took some time to play and to develop work that is completely new, so we’re very excited to show everyone what we’ve been up to!

Kindred opens on June 7th at bookhou and run through the month of June.

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