the potter …..
Brenda Neall is the CPO (Chief Potter and Owner) of Down to Earth Clayworks, a home-based pottery studio, located in the Lang Creek area, south of the town of Powell River.
In the mid nineties, being a collector and admirer of handcrafted pottery, she decided she wanted to learn more about the making of the pottery she loved to collect — what was this magic, this alchemy that would transform mud into pots. This led her to a local Arts Centre where she took evening classes for several years. She was hooked! The fwump, fwump, fwump rhythm of the kick wheel, the ‘dug from the earth’ smell of the clay, the wonder of seeing the walls of a pot rise on the wheel, the Christmas morning excitement of seeking out her finished pieces as they came out of the kiln – all resonated deeply within.
In 2005/2006, she had an opportunity to focus full-time on becoming an accomplished potter. She started down this new path by signing up for a Fine Arts program at Kwantlen University, taking Ceramics and other Fine Arts classes and attending ceramic related workshops. Once immersed in a ceramics program, she came to appreciate how much there is to learn about the world of pottery and ceramic arts and realized the learning process would never end.
In 2008 Brenda moved back to her home town of Powell River, BC, where she settled south of town, in the Lang Creek area. It is a beautiful location, close to the ocean and shores that she loved as a child. The eagles soar overhead, the flocks of geese honk their comings and goings, the occasional bear or deer wanders down the road. It was the perfect spot to set up her new studio – quietly inspiring. After building the pottery, Brenda opened the doors in November 2008.
the pots …..
Brenda’s work has continued to evolve over the subsequent years. She uses a variety of medium fire, stoneware clays and makes most of her own glazes which allows a high degree of flexibility and freedom as to the type of finish and colour of her wares. As when she first started, her first love is making wheel–thrown pottery with a focus on functional pots that can be used in all areas of the home. However, she occasionally diverges into using hand–building and mold–making techniques, including the ongoing development of series of ceramic relief tiles, inspired by the nearby ocean, seashore and forests.