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

Economic inequality, immigration still need work in Victoria: Prosperity index

Housing, environmental health factors show improvements in 2019: report

Victoria City Councillor Laurel Collins wins federal NDP nomination

Collins will run for Victoria in the upcoming federal election

WATCH: Soon-to-be guide dogs take part in the Amazing Puppy Race

10 puppies training to be guide dogs took part in a social Easter egg hunt

Victoria church bells toll in solidarity with Notre Dame Cathedral after devastating fire

Churches around the globe ring bells to honour iconic Paris cathedral

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

B.C. senior sentenced for sexually abusing special-needs granddaughter

73-year-old Cortes Island man will go to jail for three years

Howe Sound Queen sailing toward retirement

Vessel now up for auction ends regular runs between Crofton and Vesuvius at the beginning of June

Should B.C. lower speed limits on side roads to 30 km/h?

Vancouver city councillor wants to decrease speed limits along neighbourhood side roads

Lawsuit eyed over union-only raise for B.C. community care workers

‘Low-wage redress’ leaves 17,000 employees out, employers say

Landlord of alleged Okanagan shooter recounts deadly day

Tony Friesen was working in one of the units of his Penticton building when he heard shots

Foreign national arrested in connection to thefts at YVR

A woman, 60, is being held in police custody as Richmond RCMP investigate

Most Read