“I live in Chatham Ontario, a town of approximately 43,000 people. It is to me quite peaceful. The pace of life is not frantic. Rush hour lasts about ten minutes so if you step outside at any point during the day what you usually hear are the birds (crows in the winter!), and the frequent chugging rhythm of passing trains. I’ve lived here with my husband and dogs for about fifteen years now. We migrated from the center of the universe (Toronto) in pursuit of employment, a lower cost of living and soil. We had a yard so we began to garden. First flowers, then fruit and now vegetables as well. This has sparked in me not just a great curiosity about natural processes but also an appreciation and wonder for the many tiny neighbours with which we share the garden.

I studied graphic design and illustration at OCAD graduating in 1990 and only began to work in clay a few years later when I studied ceramics at George Brown College. At that point clay took over my life. It is an addicting medium, and one with which I feel I can best express myself. I love to make pots. I love the feel of clay when it’s wet, when it’s leather hard and particularly when it’s almost dry. At that point I think of the surface as soapy, cool and smooth, soft enough to score without chipping and dry enough that no burrs are raised. This is when I enjoy handling and decorating the clay.  The act of scoring imagery into the surface is in a way like branding or tattooing. It becomes a statement of commitment. There’s no changing your mind once you’ve scratched the surface.

Much of what I make reflects my interest in my surroundings, both the forms and the surfaces. The imagery on my work comes directly from the garden. The pots are for the most part containers. Vases in which a little of the garden can be brought inside, cups, bowls, teapots, all objects for use in daily ritual and boxes, spaces of safe keeping. The pieces I most enjoy are those that beg to live outside of the cupboard as objects of inspiration, objects that do not have to be in use to be appreciated.  The forms are carefully crafted and have a pinch of whimsy but I endeavor not to let the shape overpower the surface. The forms must be pleasing and must function but are secondary to the imagery. I have been a gardener and hiker all my life. Both are family traditions that have fostered in me an appreciation of the flora and fauna of the trail and the back yard. I love bugs and flowers. It’s as simple as that. I remember pouring over National Geographic magazines and botanical prints as a child. I had a bug collection that I would use as reference for drawing but on most occasions just studied. It’s no surprise that these are the things that wound up on my pots. I really enjoy the illustrating and hope that in the process I win over a few squeamish viewers.”

– A. Vuletin, 2013

Andrea Vuletin portrait