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Maker of the Month #2: Dahlia

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Maker of the Month #2: Dahlia

Who are the “Makers” at Atelier Make? There are so many of us! From owners/founders Maya + Jaimie, to our dedicated staff, to the helping hands of our invaluable interns, and our oh so inspiring Open Studio members. Each month throughout the year we’ll share the work of one of these many “makers”.


Dahlia in the studio

1. How did you come to ceramics? 

In 2017 I had cumulated 5 years as a Civil Notary. I worked diligently and continuously to build my law firm. I had also embarked on an unexpected business venture to help my grand-father with his long-established middle-eastern pastry shop. I had a lot on my plate and started to feel stressed and exhausted. I had this idea at the back of my mind: I wanted to try my hand at the pottery wheel.

In the summer, I signed up for a single private session at Atelier Make. I gave it a go and was pleasantly surprised. In the late fall, I registered for the Level 1 class. I would leave work at 4:45 sharp to make it on time for the 6 PM class. The road was long, dark and cold, but ceramics became a space of peace and novelty. I slowly started to fall in love with the feeling of centering clay on the wheel and the meditative movements needed to shape it to life.  

Once the session ended, I registered for the Saturday Open Studio to practice freely, and then I registered to Level 1 again, and then Level 2, and then hand building...  Eventually, I had completed all the classes offered by the studio and became an Open Studio regular. I practice one afternoon every weekend at a slow pace. Years have passed now, and it is difficult to fathom my routine without pottery.

 

2. Tell us about your ceramics practice, and what you enjoy making.

Abbey, a friend and fellow studio regular (and maker of the month of January!) once told me that ceramics is a discipline that requires practice, passion, patience and perseverance. I try to have no expectations and let my intuition guide me.

I enjoy making footed bowls underglazed with natural, imperfect, earth toned brush strokes and fine lines. I also enjoy carving and texturing techniques. I feel that the grooves contribute to a soft flowing movement. There is something quiet in its complexity.Currently, I am challenging myself to make tall vessels with narrow necks. I am curious about certain shapes I have yet to explore, and the skills required to trim them.

The beauty about ceramics is that it is limitless.

 

3. Tell us about your time at Atelier Make - what does your studio time, and ceramics in general, bring to your life? 

It takes me a half hour drive to get to the studio without traffic, sometimes even more, but they say the road to a friend’s house is never far.

Since starting my ceramics practice, I have lived through softer times and harder times… a busy and demanding quotidian, an unpleasant separation, quiet days, a pandemic, a heart wrenching loss, career achievements, celebrations and setbacks… No matter, Atelier Make has been for me a constant, a safe place, a sanctuary that I return to weekly. It welcomes me with calmness and spaciousness. For a few hours, I can slow down, disconnect, think, and be creative. It offers me a pause.