An Impromptu Visit to Medalta Potteries

An Impromptu Visit to Medalta Potteries

A secondary reason for making the journey across Canada was to explore and find out what Canada is all about. Neither Gary or I have ever really been east of Saskatchewan during our time alive and thought now would be as good as any. I have been told that you can never be 100% prepared for something and so here we are.

When we left Lethbridge, eyes wide with excitement, we had no idea what we would find along the way in addition to the people we would meet. So when we pulled into Medicine Hat with no plans to meet any artists it was a nice coincidence that we discovered the Medalta Potteries Museum. Not only did we feel like we were on a field trip but it also kept in line with the art theme of our journey.

We arrived at the front reception area where we met Chelsea. We had told her what we were up to and that we would love to cover a little video and do a blog about our findings and experience there. She kindly called her executive director and we quickly had the permission we needed. At the same time, Aaron Nelson showed up. He is the artistic director for the Shaw International Centre for Contemporary Ceramics which is adjacent to the Medalta Potteries site. Thankfully Chelsea took it upon herself to introduce us to Aaron and he graciously offered to show us the center and introduce us to some of the resident artists once we were finished in the museum. This was a wonderful addition to the museum and we did an impromptu interview with one of the resident artists, Annette ten Cate. Interview and blog coming soon!

I had heard so much about the clay deposits in and around Medicine Hat. Many of the potters we have interviewed so far get their clay base from this area. Also, I have seen many of the Medalta crocks in my meanderings but hadn’t put two and two together to realize where they actually came from. For everyone who owns one of these, now you will get a glimpse of where it was made and likely have a greater appreciation for it as the person who made it likely suffered under appalling working conditions.

Take a look at the video as Gary and Brittany narrate the journey through the Medalta Pottery factory which first opened in 1912.

Medalta Potteries from Corinne and Gary Funk on Vimeo.

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