Sylva Leser Statement
One of the most valuable qualities of clay is its plasticity – the capacity of being shaped and retaining its shape that becomes practically indestructible by fire. Due to developments in ceramic technology we have a wide choice of clay bodies (mixes) for low temperature= earthenware, or high temperature=stoneware and porcelain. Various means are used for firing – electricity, gas, wood, oil etc.
I work both in stoneware and porcelain and fire in electric kilns. The pieces are wheel thrown or hand built. When dry they are fired to harden at 1800••. They are then glazed and decorated by different techniques, i.e.dipping, pouring, spraying, underglaze/overglaze painting, sgraffito …..A second firing at approx. 2300•• follows to achieve vitrification. With few exception the pots are oven, microwave, dishwasher safe but thermal shocks should be avoided.
Born Prague, Czech Republic – first 20 years culminating in History of Art at Charles University.
Next two decades Paris, France and London, England. Pottery training at Camden Art Center and Stanhope Institute in London.
Emigration to Canada 1970.
Studio and Avanti gallery/shop in Stratford, Ontario, 1971 and in Bayfield, On. 1989 – 2002.
Moved to Toronto 2001– new studio established
Work shown in over 50 exhibitions. Many workshops on various aspects of ceramics.
ONTARIO POTTERS ASSOCIATION (now FUSION) – Founding Board member since 1975
STRATFORD POTTERS GUILD – Founder and member 1972- 1982
CANADIAN CLAY + GLASS GALLERY – Founder and member since 1982
WATERLOO POTTERS GUILD – Member 1971- 1980
ONTARIO CRAFTS COUNCIL – Member 1980- 2011
TORONTO POTTERS – Member since -2001
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