“I have been making ceramics professionally for 50 years. I am still learning, and getting some of it nearly right. The good teachers at the Alberta College of Art taught me that I was expected to think when I was working, and it still seems like a good idea. A thoughtful cup and saucer, or a thoughtful sculpture…it is all the same thing…beautiful objects occupying beautiful space.
All of my work is done in porcelain that I make each year. Some pieces are influenced by very old forms and some are not. Either way, the work follows very old Chinese traditions in making, and I thank those early craftsmen for their guidance and inventiveness. The function of many of the pieces speak to use at the table, where beautiful food and dishes mingle. I also make homes for flowers that are meant to be on the same table. The sculptural pieces are the result of current events in a world where cell phones and lap tops rule.
The pieces are reduction fired with propane as high as cone 13… fairly hot by ceramics standards.”
Despite his modesty, Harlan House is regarded as a true master in the international field of ceramics. He has successfully (and to great critical acclaim) blended eastern and western traditions of pottery making.
His five decades of research and experimentation have brought together historical references, technical expertise, finesse of material and creative design to incomparable porcelain work.
House has over 50 solo exhibitions to his credit and has lectured extensively on ceramic traditions. His work can be found in museum and gallery collections around the world. He was the recipient of the Saidye Bronfman Award for excellence in Canadian Craft (1989) and the Chalmers Award (1997) and is an inductee to the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.