“In my ceramic vessels and small sculpture I try to achieve the presence, simplicity and tactile appeal I have long admired in many early art forms. The pieces, usually composed of simple geometric elements, often have the rounded corners and textures of the organic world or weathered architecture. Most are covered with a thin layer of fine clay particles known as terra sigillata. This surface, which can be brought to a soft, sensuous sheen with polishing, is more like a skin than a glaze. Plain areas take on a black hue during the final smoke firing, while patterned surfaces emerge in a subtle range of grays.
Some recent work is based on impressions of my urban surroundings – for example, the derelict buildings of the old industrial neighbourhood lining the Lachine Canal, with their intriguing structures and mysterious empty interiors so suggestive of history and urban change.”
Audrey lives and maintains her studio practice in Montreal, Quebec. She studied biology before becoming involved in ceramics in 1975 under instructor Dean Mullavey at Champlain College, Lennoxville Quebec. Soon after she made the decision to work as a potter, renting a studio in the old Centre de Céramique Bonsecours in Montreal.She continued to learn from other studio artists at Bonsecours and to sell her pottery. Until 1992 she made high-fired functional stoneware and porcelain, much influenced by the philosophy of British pottery icon Bernard Leach, the traditions of Japanese pottery, and the beautiful ceramics of Louise Doucet and Satoshi Saito.
From 1968 to 1970 Audrey volunteered with CUSO in West Africa. Though she had no knowledge of the ceramics of West Africa at the time, the visual and tactile richness of the semitropical plant life, wood carving, textiles, bronze sculpture and architecture have left their mark. The experience initiated an ongoing interest in the power and significance of early art and the role of surface pattern.
In the 1980’s she earned her B.F.A. in Art History / Studio Art at Concordia University in Montreal. She became interested in smoke firing and her work turned towards more sculptural vessels. It is perhaps in her burnished smoke-fired work that the influence of her studies in biology and fascination with form and pattern in natural organisms is most apparent.
Audrey has been a part-time instructor of ceramics at the Visual Arts Centre, Montreal since 1978. She has exhibited nationally and internationally, and has been the recipient of several awards for her Ceramic vessels, including the province of Quebec’s Prix special Gaétan Baudin pour “qualité et originalité d’ouvre”.