Amidst century old apple trees, Verger Heath Orchard features beautiful, functional ceramics (pottery) by accomplished potter and proprietor Lynn Heath. On display and available for purchase at the Kiosk.
More About The Artist
My love for ceramics and pottery, in particular, was fostered by my parents taking me through lovely drives around the Quebec Eastern Townships in the 1970s. We would set off and visit 2-3 potters who were working in the community around our family farm in Stanstead (the home of Verger Heath Orchard, a century old apple orchard my husband and I now own and manage and where I make and display my pottery today). It was wonderful! The Eastern Townships has been, and remains, an undiscovered gem of artists working in ceramics and pottery. The knowledge and experience in this region is amazing and continues to inspire me to this day.
On these early drives in the Eastern Townships my parents would always buy a few pieces. I would always get a few for Christmas and my birthday from my parents. It was a delight. It was these early day-trips that began my obsession with pottery.
I later became a teacher and educator by trade but I took my first ceramic courses in Montreal in the 80s and later studied at the Rosynski Art Center. When my husband and I and first son moved to Toronto, I continued taking ceramic courses when I could between raising three boys and working full time as a teacher.
My transition to serious potter began when I was gifted an electric kiln by family and friends. After years of study and practice I finally had full control of my studio — the ability to throw, glaze and fire all on my own. I can’t describe the excitement!
There are so many avenues in the exploration of pottery. And I find all of them interesting. But my true practice remains centred around wheel-centering, throwing, tooling and finishing. I love making practical pieces with stoneware and porcelain clay. Pottery allows me to merge art with function. I believe strongly that people should enjoy and use my work. I price my pieces accordingly. I want people to have and enjoy unique handmade pottery – mugs, bowls, pitchers, garlic jars, berry bowls, rice bowls, and, of course, the most fun, teapots!
My pottery is simple, with clean lines and earth, sky, fire and water glazes. I recently read a book called Wabi-Sabi- for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers. Wabi-Sabi is a complex concept but the ideas really spoke to me. It said that the closest English word to wabi-sabi is ‘rustic’ or ‘simple’. Other descriptions are one of a kind, organic, soft shapes, earthy and imperfect. Many of these terms apply to the type of pieces I have tried to create in my ceramic studio for the last few decades.
For those less familiar with ceramics (and I’m always happy to discuss), how one “fires” pots is really important. But access to certain “firing” techniques is not always easy to find. For this reason, the body of my work is produced in my own electric kiln with which I have created glazes that have depth and beauty developed through refinement over many years. I typically Iayer glazes in order to bring out simple but profound landscapes or themes such as the night sky or the ocean. However, over the the last 5 years or so, I have begun firing in a gas or wood kiln. This has been intensely exciting but also challenging. You will find that my gas or wood fired ceramic pieces have a more “earthy” or “rustic” feel. You might describe them as having a more “natural” but, at the same time, complex aesthetic. The clay is different, the glazes are different. The pot shapes are similar but the pieces present with a very different feel. It is a huge challenge but also very rewarding.
Overall, my artistic vision for my ceramic pieces are that they are made to be beautiful and unique on your table, but also to hold your essential hot drink in the morning and provide a special piece to hold your wine at night. Function and ease is important. All pieces are dishwasher, microwave and oven safe! Enjoy!