Southwest Saskatchewan Pottery

In my own art practice I make, mostly, beads and small pieces from polymer clay. It’s great stuff and I enjoy it immensely. Over the years, though, I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a lot of great pottery and to try out the art. I have to say that it would give polymer clay a run for it’s money in my heart if I were starting both new now.

I didn’t know, either, when I moved to southwest Saskatchewan, that this part of the prairies and the southeast part of Alberta are the clay centres for Canada. Plainsman Clay operates out of Medicine Hat and there are clay mines all over the hills. This is pottery land. And there are some impressive potters in my area including a few that I’m lucky enough to work with in the shop.

The artists represented above are Lloyd Garthus of Admiral, Carol Furman of Rush Lake and Nick Saville of Eastend, Saskatchewan. They work with a variety of local clays, either handbuild or throw on a wheel and glaze their pieces in completely different choices of colours. The results are great and unique to each artist’s personality and talents.

Class Policies and Guidelines

Early Bird Class Registration

If you book and pay for your class – in person or online – 7 or more days in advance there is a discount in price. A $50 class, paid for one week in advance, will be $45.

Kids Class Guidelines

We aim to make our classes fun (and a little bit educational) for the kids. Part of that is being able to use good quality materials and the right tools. Kids will be using blades and power tools in class with appropriate supervision.

Proper material and tool safety will be covered at the beginning of sessions. Failure to follow these rules will result in a warning or immediate removal from class.

General Stuff

If we do not get enough students to run, we will let you know the day beforeĀ  or earlier by email or phone call. The number of students required to run the class will depend on the instructor. Refunds will be issued accordingly.

If you or your child will miss a class in a session, please let us know. While we can’t refund, we may be able to reschedule so you can make up the lost time if you’d like. If an instructor must miss a class we will offer you the option of a refund or a reschedule.

Dress appropriately. Unless otherwise noted, classes will be a little creative and, probably, a bit messy. You may get paint, glue, water or glitter on yourself.


What is Polymer Clay?

Polymer clay is joy.

I’m a little biased though. I’ve been working with it for more than 15 years and I’m still having fun.

Strictly speaking, polymer clay is plastic or pvc particles suspended in a binder that makes it malleable until it’s cured. The type of polymer clay that I work with in the shop is an oven bake one so when we cure it, we bake it in a regular oven at a low temperature. Until you do that the stuff stays nice and squishy. Once cured it becomes plastic just as properly fired pottery becomes ceramic or glass.

Polymer clay comes in a variety of colours and special effects that you can mix and match somewhat like acrylic paints. It’s best suited for small work – like beads, figures and miniatures – and larger pieces are done with significant internal supports or armatures. It isn’t suitable for making items you’ll eat out of or for items that will require a lot of wear and tear. It’s fabulous for instant gratification crafting and that’s a big part of why I use it for classes.

We carry Sculpey! brand polymer clays in the shop as well as a selection of tools.