community through art.
If you are into pottery, chances are you know of Evonne Smulder’s work. Evonne produces unique collections of handmade pottery with a style that is a unique product of a long evolving process.
In other words, it is safe to dwell in the beautiful uniqueness of her pieces - all of which adhere to her signature theme but fit in to an eclectic category as well.
In speaking with Evonne, it is clear to see that she works hard to not be pigeon-holed, and stays adaptable to the evolution of her creativity.
“My work has evolved over the years. I spent almost 15 years working in earthenware, which had a real high production process that went with it,” explained Evonne.
“It was functional dinner ware pieces. I have left that behind and moved into more medium fire work, and so I have gone through doing wares for the table, it just doesn't inspire me to do one thing.
“I’m not great at saying this is my glaze, this is my line, this is what I will produce, so my work evolves.”
Her current collection demonstrates soft turquoise greens over creamy bases. Mugs and other objects are often adorned with stamps and prints that reflect personal interests - like bees, a reflection of her love to bee keep.
“I like to make pieces that are different and I like my work to be different,” said Evonne.
“So, when someone comes to me to buy a mug, I like them to look at the mugs and I like them to enjoy the fact that they aren't all exactly the same size, or the same height. Mugs are like us, very much so, in that we are all different and we all come in different sizes and we all have different relationships with each other.”
“A mug is a very intimate piece. Every time you use it, you bring it to your lips.
“If you see my work, you will see that I am changing things in and out, and I move between functional ware into sculpture, which I really enjoy.
“It has become my heart work.
“I do the dinnerware as the some for them, and the garden art is the some for me. That is the work that just drives me to be in my studio at 7 o'clock every morning.
A medium Evonne is certainly talented in, clay seemed to find her just as much as she found it.
“This journey started about 32 years ago. I was working in healthcare as a midwife and it was very stressful work.
“So I needed something relaxing, so I took a ceramics course, and one course led to another and I just kept taking courses.
“Pretty soon I found the only thing I really wanted to do was to make pots.
“I retired as a midwife and went into pottery full time. I worked full time as a production potter when we were raising our kids, my husband and I worked together doing that.”
Evonne seemed to know that this was her calling, but even still she felt the pull from time to time to try something else, a path that left her only wanting to come back to her pottery studio.
“I really love it, it's in my blood.”
“Whenever I was away all I thought about was ‘hmmm, I'd really like to be in my studio,’ so I kept coming back.”
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