The last time Joe Lyons attended one of the Nanaimo Pottery Co-op’s biannual sales he was a customer, but at the upcoming November sale he’ll have a table of his own.
Lyons, who hails from Seattle, is one of the newest and youngest members of the local ceramics collective. He started potting at community centres as a child and returned to the art form as an adult, apprenticing at a ceramics studio on the Hawaiian island of Kauai for five years.
He said he was drawn to the art form by its calming nature and properties.
“To me that is one of the most redeeming elements of ceramic work is that it just feeds my soul and my spirit,” he said.
Two years ago Lyons came to Nanaimo to “check it out” and visit with family friends. He ended up staying for the city’s ceramics community.
“Kauai’s lovely and I worked for a really talented artist there but it’s a small place and here there are so many awesome potters, which is what’s going on in November,” he said. “There are just tons of talented ceramic artists in Canada, but also specifically on Vancouver Island.”
The sale takes place at Country Club Centre from Nov. 2 to 4. More than 20 potters will be vending their wares.
“It’s a great opportunity for the community to meet the artists,” Lions added.
He said he met the artists through the recreational pottery classes at the Bowen Park studio and from there he was invited to see the Tozan wood fire kiln in Cedar. Now he works at Nanaimo Ceramics Arts Studio and VIU, where he is a student.
He said the co-op artists have been welcoming and he has a lot to learn from his artistic elders.
“There’s a lot of people who have been doing this thing that I’m passionate about for longer than I’ve been alive,” Lyons said. “So I take that pretty seriously and I’m just happy to be in their presence.”
WHAT’S ON … Nanaimo Pottery Co-op November Pottery Sale takes place at Country Club Centre mall on Friday, Nov. 2 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 4 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.