Historical Timeline

1973 - A small group of potters got together to discuss topics of interest.

1975 - Start having executive meetings and writing up minutes. Ingrid Levine first president. First Christmas Sale at Saw Gallery. Technical Quality Standards established.

1976 - First Sale at the Glebe community Centre and first Spring Sale.Guild Library started with 8 books. Display units built for juried exhibitions.

1977 - Ottawa Guild of Potters incorporated and a competition for a seal was launched with John Reid's three cones in profile as the one selected.

1978 - Retail space was found in Eric Rasmuisel's Canadian Ceramic Supply shop. Standards Committee was formed to check all tables at the pottery sales.

1979 - Twin Willows Gallery in Manotick hosts the Guild Exhibition. New meeting space St.Pierre School Friel St. was home to the Guild for 12 years.

1980 - OGP hosts the Ontario Potters Association Conference at Ottawa University with 500 members attending. Ottawa galleries displayed pottery to feature the event. Michael Casson invited to give workshop.

1981 - York Gallery exhibited Earthworks exhibition, taking 15% of the sales. David Leach workshop.

1982 - Algonquin Pottery Studio set up with 5 studio potters renting space. The Guild provided classes through the Continuing Education Dept.

1983 - Newsletter provides information to members. Glebe Community Centre too small for all the potters interested, so the space allotment for each was reduced. The Perfect Setting competition launched by the Ontario Potters' Association (later Fusion) for dinner settings.

1984 - Earthworks juried by Paula Murray and Her Excellency Lily Schreyer. Three prizes awarded. OGP becomes affiliate of the Ontario Crafts Council. OCC offers new design award. Over-firing of gas kiln at Algonquin College. Robin Hopper workshop.

1985 - Fireworks exhibition juried by Jim Thomson. Wally Keeler workshop.

1986 - Glaze recipe exchange. Ken Cumberland workshop. Charity Table at the Spring sale for Camp Trillium.  Exhibition was Potter's Choice with each person jurying his own work. Robert Copeland, great-great-grandson to William Copeland, a partner to Josiah Spode, lectured on Spode's first hundred years. The Ontario Potter's Association becomes Fusion - the Ontario Clay and Glass Association. Leta Cormier presented on Japanese pottery following her trip to Japan.

1987 - Brainstorming to rejuvenate the Guild. Suggestions included permanent display space, permanent collection of member's work,  list of member's expertise, marketing promotion. In Celebration of Spring juried by Victoria Henry of Ufundi Gallery and Randy Anderson Ottawa potter. Sudden loss of the Algonquin College Studio to horticulture class space.

1988 - Alarm raised in Ottawa Citizen about lead in pottery glazes. No one in the Guild used lead glazes on their pots. Workshops by Ankaret Dean ( Oakville fibre artist) on basket weaving techniques, Bruce Cochrane of Sheridan School of Craft and Design on colourful earthenware techniques and Lise Fleury hands-on workshop on sawdust firing. New Visual Arts Centre in Nepean opened.

1989 - David Leach demonstration and family history workshop. Marthe Sirois on crystalline glazes.

1990 - Fusion conference at Carleton U. Two exhibitions - Fireworks and Guild Annual exhibition held on Arts Court. Workshops by Ron Roy on pot design Beyond the Ordinary, Liz Willoughby for hands-on teapots, Robert Tetu on porcelain and Sadashi Inuzuka demo of thrown forms and decoration.

1991 - Guild moves to Fisher Park Community Centre for meetings.  Sales survey indicates that customers learn about the event by: 34% word of mouth, 27% newspaper, 20% Guild flyers, 12% community newspapers, 6% radio (free public service announcements).

1992 - OCC and Fusion both receive donations of $250 each from the Guild. Potters offered demos in lieu of fee at the Tulip Festival. Mimi Cabri talk Bathing in Champagne, about her tile making to refurbish the Champagne Bath. Dr. Trevor Hodge from Carleton U. talked about How the Greeks went to Pot. Inspirations in Clay exhibition juried by John Ikeda and Jim Thomson held at the World Exchange Plaza. Workshops by Eric Lindgren and Seth Cardew.

1994 - Move again - to the Firehall Training Centre on Industrial Ave.Start of bursary offered to promising ceramic art students.

1995 - Library books are not returned on time will pay new fines. Donation to CHEO Burn Unit, since the Fire Hall was rent free. Member workshop potters to receive $75. Growth in the number of potters has caused problems for sales venue. New participation criteria were established.

1996 - Fusion Conference at Carleton U. again with John Leach as guest artist. Fusion Exhibition was in St. Pat's Hall.   Eight member workshops were held: mixing and measuring glazes, loading and firing an electric kiln, four methods of making plates, throwing off the hump, making goblets, slip trailing, psychology of the rice bowl, building and firing a raku kiln. Guild participated in Ottawa's Festival of Lights by decorating a tree with withe clay ornaments hung with red ribbons and mini lights. The tree was auctioned and proceeds went to charities.

1997 - Festival of Lights participation again. Closing of the Glebe Community Centre for 3 years requires that the Sale moves to the Hellenic Centre in the Spring of 1999, with a space that is twice as big. Student bursaries to 3 high school students. Workshops included Intro to the Artist's Way by Heather Mallett and Throwing and Glazing by Carol Ann Michaelson.

1998 - Planning for the 25th anniversary celebration, starting with cotton T shirts. Malcolm Davis workshop. Three year limit established for any Executive Member role. Another white ornamented Christmas Tree Auction to Big Sisters.

1999 - Spring Fling 25th-year celebration at Lynda Northey's. Lynda has invited potters to her place every year since 1984! The Sales positions of convenor and co-convenor  increased to 5 members: Treasurer, Application Convenor, Shirt Convenor, Job Convenor and Publicity. Christmas sale at the Hellenic Centre was a huge success. Launch of Hungry Bowls with Rasputins: free soup on the purchase of a bowl in December. Over 100 bowls donated and customers paid $10 to go to the Food Bank. History written by Doris McIlroy as another 25th anniversary project.


2000 - New Millennium - new reason to celebrate with the exhibition Who We are as Potters held at Ottawa Carleton Regional  Headquarters (now Ottawa City Hall).

25th Anniversary Exhibition, Ottawa Carleton Regional Headquarters (now Ottawa City Hall)

2002 – Annual event “Empty Bowls” at Rasputin’s Folk Café begins

25th Anniversary Exhibition

2003 – Presentations by: Alan C. Elder (Curator of Canadian Crafts, Decorative Arts and Design, Canadian Museum of Civilization), Stéphane Bédard (Shambhala Art), Dan & Nisha Ferguson (sculptural work), Susan Low Beer, Maria Gomez Umaña.  FUSION Conference held in Ottawa at Carleton University May 23-25. Field trip to Montreal Museum of Fine Arts to view “A Voyage Into Myth - Gaugin To Matisse”. Workshops:  Victoria Jenkins workshop (Moulds, Sprigs and Stamps), Throwing Large Bowls with Christina McCarthy, Slab Forms with Catherine Brewster, Planter, Bowls and Plates with Victoria Jenkins, Pit Firing with Phillip Black, Tray-Chic with Lynda Northey and Julien Couture, Glaze Basics with Anne Chambers, Firing with Chandler Swain.

Raku Box by Sharon Gebert, Best in Show – 2003 Juried Exhibition, Carleton University

2004 - Presentations by: Darlene Keffer (The Humble Mug: Our Bread and Butter), Reed Weir (figurative sculpture), Hanne Lawrence (Tile Making), Anne Creskey (woodfiring in Ireland), Jackie Seaton (Empty Bowls, Perth). weekend workshop with Wayne Cardinalli (throwing and slip decorating). discussions on costing out pots and the $21 mug.

2005 - Inaugural Great Bowls of Fire (GBF) raises $7,500 for the Ottawa Food Bank. Presentations by: Leta Cormier (the challenges of functional work), Richard Gill (bas relief wall sculptures). Membership fees increased $30/individual and $40/family.

Raku Box by Sharon Gebert,

2006 - The OGP participates in the Canadian Tulip Festival with a tent in Major’s Hill Park – try the wheel, tulip themed display (pieces for sale) and buy GBF bowls.  Presentations by: Cheryl Ann Webster (Beautiful Women Project) and Nancy Green. Workshop by Jason L’Abbe. Spring Fling held at Lynda Soper’s residence. AGM: numerous by-laws were updated.

2007 -  Weekend Workshops by: Rob Tetu, Eric Serritella.  Member workshops by:  Marie Paquette, Lis Allison. Meeting presentations by: Paula Murray,  Maureen Marcotte.  Discussions about pricing our work. GBF raises $10,300 for the Ottawa Food Bank. Guild Pin introduced for extraordinary service to the Guild. Certificates of appreciation given for volunteering for Guild activities. OGP Clay Olympics held at the home of Colette Beardall.

2008 - Weekend Workshops by: Carol Ann Michaelson, Steven Branfman, Hanne Lawrence. OGP participates in Ontario Crafts Council “Goblet Grab” fundraiser. Carolynn Pynn Trudeau receives lifetime achievement award from the Ontario Crafts Council. Young at Art Bursary given to high school students.  Inaugural OGP “Fall Fire” Weekend Clay Conference created by Carol Badenoch and held in Morrisburg featuring Eric Seritella (raku), Tim Storey (handbuilding) and Anne Chambers (altered pots and glaze spraying).

Workshop by Jason L’Abbe - 2006

2009  -  OGP exhibition entitled “Symphony” is displayed in Toronto at the Ontario Crafts Council in May.  Workshops by: Peta Hall (on marketing), Joan Anderson (on photographing your work), Victoria Jenkins (glazing), Sandra Marshall (handbuilding sculptural pieces), Paul Portelli (Booth Design and Visual Marketing), Paula Murray (slip casting). Membership fee increased to $40/individual and $60/family. Studio Map published by OGP.  Re-branding the OGP completed (new logo by Margit Heideg combines kiln door with smoke swirl, brown/white/black colourway).  “Fall Fire” held Sept 11-13 featuring Leta Cormier (throwing) and Thom Lambert (geological influences in pots) with vendors from Capital Pottery, PSH and Tucker’s Pottery Supplies.

2010 -  OGP hosts FUSION conference at Carleton University May 28-30 – Sam Chung and Joan Bruneau are presenters. OGP members offered pre-conference workshops: Carolynne Pynn-Trudeau, Thom Lambert (from Haliburton), Lucie Rossignol, Anne Chambers with Colette Beardall, Chandler Swain, and Margaret Ann Capper. Meeting presentation by Dan Hill (soda fired pots, Wilno, Ontario). Workshop given by Carolyn Gibbs (lidded boxes and tiles – in conjunction with Almonte Potters Guild). Strategic communication plan developed. New LCD projector purchased for meetings.  GBF tote bags made; GBF raised $13,900.

2011 – Spring Sale moved to new venue: Shenkman Arts Centre, Orleans. 

2012 – Great Bowls of Fire sold out in record time. Co-chairs Colette Beardall and Sarah Hand. Presentations by Phil White (the Federal Government’s official sculptor). Two day workshop by Tony Clennell. Facebook and Twitter accounts created for communications, promotion and advertising. 


New Logo 2009

2013 - 40th Anniversary show held at City of Ottawa Archives building during the summer. “Roots” OGP show honouring Guild founders and earliest members held at the Dust Evans Gallery, Shenkman Centre Oct 19 - Dec 11.  GBF raises $17,000 for the Ottawa Food Bank. The Guild moves to the Hintonburg Community Centre (June) for its meetings and library. Bursary given through Young at Art. Second Clay Olympics held at the home of Colette Beardall. Susan Hall's workshop (handbuilding animal sculptures). Our 40th anniversary group mosaic and exhibition. Cynthia Bringle was invited to present her methods and thoughts about her vast experience as a potter.  

2014 - Presentation by Diana Jackson: Pit Firing and Sagar Firing in an Electric Kiln. FUSION Mentorship Exhibition: “Transitions” held at Trinity Art Gallery, Shenkman Arts Centre Jan 9 - Feb 11 with mentor Leta Cormier featuring regional participants Colette Beardall, Michelle Bishop, Diana Jackson, Victoria Jenkins, Janet Keefe, Sandra Marshall, Marie Paquette, Ann Randeraad, Jane Thelwell and Ileana Tierney. GBF raises $19,400 for the Ottawa Food Bank. Young at Art bursaries given. Move to Lansdowne Park Horticultural Building for “Holiday Sale” Nov 28 – 30.  Membership fees increase to $45/individual and $65/family. 

2015  -  Presentations by: Hanne Lawrence (building a mud oven), Hilde Lambrechts (preparations for her solo show at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery), Grace Nickel and Sheilah Mackinnon (Assistant Conservator of Sculpture and Decorative Arts from the National Art Gallery).  Capital Pottery Supplies changes ownership: thank-you Sarah Hand for serving our community for 10 great years!   Workshop by Takeshi Shimizu (traditional Japanese Tamba ware potter, sponsored by the Japanese embassy). GBF raised $15,800 for the Ottawa Food Bank.   Annual Exhibition - Juror: Keith Campbell

2016 - Some great workshops! Lesley McInally, Tom Lambert and a new initiative with Hintonburg Pottery starting in September.  Proposal for “Populace” is accepted via competition for grants from Ottawa 2017 and Ontario 150. OGP calendar created featuring Guild members’ work. “Celebrating Clay” monthly shows created and held at pop-up gallery “Galerie Côté Créations”. OGP members Amy Bell, Philip Samuel Black and Johanna Jansen participate in the “Tulip Gallery” for the Canadian Tulip Festival. Annual Exhibition - Juror: Leta Cormier.

2017 - The Guild will be hosting the 2017 FUSION Conference. OGP Notebook created featuring the work of Guild members. Overhaul of website and electronic communications by Johanna Jansen. Established Guild Forum for email communications within the Guild membership. Great Guild Garage Sale held.  Presentation by Cynthia O’Brien – “Rites of Spring”. “Populace” opens at the Museum of Nature, McLeod Street, with dignitaries from Pikwakanagan, the City of Ottawa, Ottawa 2017 and Ontario 150. "Populace at Home” a joint venture featuring the 150 gilded sculptures in vases made from the remaining Populace clay is on display at the Dust Evans Gallery, Shenkman Arts Centre.  GBF raises $14,400 for the Ottawa Food Bank. FUSION Mentorship Program presentation given by Guild participants Amy Bell, Emily Dore and Jocelyn Jenkins regarding the program and their group show “Dimensions” on display at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario. Annual Exhibition Juror: Cynthia O'Brien.


40th Anniversary

2018 - Three sculptures from “Populace” are installed in the City of Ottawa Time Capsule at City Hall, Elgin Street to be opened in 50 years.  “Populace” is reimagined for the Royal Canadian Geographical Society with the new name “Compass” and is installed in the shape of a compass rose on the lawn in front of the Society’s building at 50 Sussex Drive, Ottawa. Presentation by Monica Rosenthal about NCECA. Great Guild Garage Sale. Guild members who attended NCECA this year offered a “Micro NCECA Conference” at the April meeting (kind of like speed dating!)   Intermediate Throwing Workshop “The Potter’s Nod” given by Clement Hoeck.  Dave Drapeau takes over from Johanna Jansen, to become the Guild's new webmaster.  Paula Murray: Artist Lecture, Canada C3-A Crucible.  Annual Exhibition - Juror: Brenda Sutton Mader.

2019 -  Presentation by Hilde Lambrechts “Works in Progress”.  Celebrating Clay shows continue, including first “Focus On” show by Guild members Amy Bell, Jocelyn Jenkins and Emily Dore entitled “Flow”. GBF raised $14,400 for the Ottawa Food Bank.


2020 -  Guild rebranding undertaken with the assistance of Guild member and graphic design teacher Jordan Danger. Meeting presentations given by:  Sarah Fulford (Fogo Island Clay Studio), Maria Moldovan. Commemorative “Populace” book delivered to Mayor Jim Watson. Membership applications and renewals moved online. Members gain ability to update their profile and Gallery independently. Guild in-person events cancelled due to Coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic; meetings/talks/workshops conducted via ZOOM.  Annual Exhibition was virtual - juror: Marney McDiarmid.  

2021 - Even though live events remained closed due to the pandemic, the guild held two virtual exhibitions: Jocelyn Jenkins' Night Garden, and Ada Brzeski's From Paper to Clay.  see celebrating clay archive

2022 - This year’s Great Bowls of Fire was a huge success. With covid-19 fears still looming, the event followed a "take out" model. Attendees selected one of hundreds of original, hand crafted soup bowls then took home soups and bread goods from the participating restaurants and bakeries.   The in-person Annual Exhibition returns - Juror: Maureen Marcotte.  Elizabeth Davies' Field and Forest in Celebrating Clay: see celebrating clay archive

New Logo 2020

2015 – 2022 Exhibition Award Winners

Exhibitions provide Guild members with the opportunity to compete and to display fine works of art. Use this link to view a summary of these awards. http://ottawaguildofpotters.ca//gallery/guild-exhibitions/

In memoriam

2004 Passing of Bill Stranks.

2006 Passing of Catherine Brewster and Teresita Casas

2009 Passing of Julien Couture (Past President).

2014 Passing of Joan Bakker.

2019 Passing of Heidi Lore Geraets (née Keim) and Maggie Cox.

2022 Passing of Lynda Northey.


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