Potter enchanted by hands-on medium

Use of driftwood brings excitement to work

Ester Galac throws clay in her home studio while two of her finished works – a decorative bronze oval and a tea pot – sit on the edge of her potter's wheel.

Ester Galac is so passionate about pottery that she turned down a diamond ring as a 20th wedding anniversary gift from her husband, and opted instead for a potter’s wheel.

The 55-year-old Saanich resident first entered the pottery world more than two decades ago, after years of interest in the art but never having had an opportunity to set foot into that world.

“Our girls were taking ballet lessons at Cedar Hill. While waiting for them I was wandering through the halls and found the pottery studio. I was enchanted,” Galac recalls.

She took her first pottery class in 1989, but the timing wasn’t right to pursue the art – what with raising two daughters – so she didn’t return to pottery until 1999.

That’s when she took another class. And then another. And then another. And Galac has never looked back.

She’s now an active member of the South Vancouver Island Potters Guild, which is hosting its annual show and sale at the Fairfield Gonzales Community Place on June 16.

The bottom floor of Galac’s Gordon Head home is more or less reserved for her art.

She has her studio (where she throws the clay and forms the pieces), a kiln room, a glazing room and then a storage room with shelves full of funky homemade teapots, mugs, vases, plates and pitchers.

Each of Galac’s pieces is unique – playful, and evidently inspired by the nature that encompasses her home.

Though many of her pieces are functional, she points out a decorative bronzed oval, which she’s particularly proud of. She scours area beaches – Cordova Bay, French Beach – for kelp and driftwood to incorporate as handles and the like on her art.

“In today’s mass-produced world, when people buy handmade work, that brings different qualities and some excitement into your everyday,” Galac says. “The user can find the marks that the maker left behind.”

The Potters Guild is 70 members strong, 35 of whom will have their works on display and for sale at Clay Connects, the June 16 show.

Galac says the camaraderie shared by organizations like the guild are crucial for artists as they look to branch out and improve upon their skills.

“The clay makes the bond. But being part of a group was really important for my development,” she says. “Having other people who’ve had the same frustrations and failures through their art really helps to strengthen your resolve to stay and do more.”

The Clay Connects show and sale happens June 16 at 1335 Thurlow Rd. from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on the South Vancouver Island Potters Guild visit victoriapotters.ca.

Just Posted

Nearly a dozen coonhound puppies and their mother to reunite at Saanich park

Dogs’ former foster family initiated one-year reunion plans

Trio brings roller skating fever to Greater Victoria

Roller Skate Victoria offers workshops, summer camps and more

Westin Bear Mountain hotel sold to local businessman and entrepreneur

Ecoasis will maintain responsibility of golf and tennis operations and developable lands

Public warned of night firing exercises in Saanich after evidence of trespassing

Routine shooting practice to take place at Heals Range from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday

Riders roll to help Island hospices

$240,000 raised so far for this weekend’s seventh annual Cycle of Life Tour

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

POLL: Do you carry reusable shopping bags?

While a court ruling determined the City of Victoria’s plastic bag ban… Continue reading

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Body, burning truck found near northern B.C. town

RCMP unsure if the two separate discoveries are related

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

UPDATE: West Kelowna fawn euthanized, not claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer has been euthanized after a suitable home was not found in time

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

Most Read