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Potters share their world through clay

Clay sculptor Shaz has returned to the Okanagan from the Kingdom of Tonga and is showing her work at the Okanagan Potters Association annual spring show and sale at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Friday and Saturday. - Photo submitted
Clay sculptor Shaz has returned to the Okanagan from the Kingdom of Tonga and is showing her work at the Okanagan Potters Association annual spring show and sale at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Friday and Saturday.
— image credit: Photo submitted

Clay artist Shaz Ball has returned to the Okanagan from the Kingdom of Tonga, where she lived for five years, and will be exhibiting her work at the annual Okanagan Potters Association spring show and sale in Vernon this coming weekend.

The artist, who goes by her first name, is well known in Vernon for her eclectic array of clay wall art, including themes related to music, wine and the Okanagan.

Raku, with its shiny metallic glaze, is her specialty.

While living in the exotic Kingdom of Tonga, a Polynesian sovereign state and archipelago comprising 176 islands in the South Pacific, Shaz says she was able to express the freedom of uninhibited dance and acceptance of self, which is reflective in her art.

“I went to Tonga for a change and the experience.  It was fascinating and more,” she said, adding, “I miss some things about Tonga, but it is great to be back.”

Besides being introduced to a new culture, Shaz says she loved experiencing the carefree attitude of the locals, the freedom and experience of kayaking to uninhabited islands, and swimming with humpback whales.

“(It) all aided me with my expressionism,” she said.

Shaz started creating art in 1996 and has exhibited her works in numerous group and solo exhibitions throughout B.C. and Alberta.

“The need to explore and expand as an artist has led me on a constantly evolving path,” she said.

Shaz has continued to create since being back in the Okanagan. Now the president of the Okanagan Potters Association, this past winter she attended an artist retreat in the mountains, which she says gave her the time to create a number of new clay sculptures for the OKPA show.

“It’s just the beginning of works to come,” she said.

The OKPA spring show and sale will be held in the Vernon Performing Arts Centre foyer this Friday from 10 to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. Several potters from the Okanagan/Thompson Valleys, as well as a few artisans, will be featured. There will also be a one-of-a-kind exhibition of unique works by some of the exhibitors.

Visit okanaganpotters.ca for more information.

 

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