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Blossom Show Breathes Creative Life Into Clay

Bob Hall
By Bob Hall
June 19th, 2024

From the whir of wheel to the fires of the kiln comes an array of beautiful student-produced ceramic work that arrives at the junction of artistry and function.

Learners in the 10-month Ceramics Program at Selkirk College have been honing skills and building on creative energy at the Victoria Street Campus in downtown Nelson since September. To celebrate a major milestone in their education and progress as artists, the current cohort are presenting Blossom: 2024 Ceramics Program Grad Show & Sale on June 21 and 22.

“It’s really valuable to share our work with the community,” says student Hannah Samek.

“It’s a powerful way to end so that we can show what we have accomplished. Many of us have started from pretty much zero and we have come a really long way with our abilities. Getting to create a series of work for the community to see is an important part of the educational process.”

Open to the entire community, the Blossom show will feature work from all 12 students who are putting the final touches on their Selkirk College education. Ceramic mugs, bowls, plates, vases, jars and other objects will be on display to admire and purchase.

“It’s important to support handmade pottery because it’s a special experience to use something every day that the artist put so much effort into,” says student Amelie Drewitz. “It’s a great opportunity to get inspired. And it’s a great chance to beautify your home because there are so many pretty things being made in this studio.”

The Blossom show starts on Friday, June 21 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. and then continues on Saturday, June 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

It will take place at the Victoria Street Campus (606 Victoria Street) and admission is free.

An Assortment of Outcomes and Pathways

Drewitz entered the renowned program after graduating from LV Rogers Secondary in June 2023. An artist to the core, the 19-year-old illustrated her first book while still a young student at Nelson’s Waldorf School. Though she took ceramics in high school, her budding talents have flourished over the last few months.

“I enjoy working with my hands and love knowing that I can make something that somebody else could use daily,” she says. “Then getting a chance to illustrate the pieces to make it more interesting, it’s a very rewarding process.”

Drewitz’s family moved from Germany to Kaslo when she was three-years-old. Living in Nelson since entering Waldorf School, she now intends to take her training to the next level which could involve a return to Germany.

“This is an amazing start, I feel that I have gotten so far in just a few months,” Drewitz says. “It’s the best group of people that I could have landed with. There is such a diverse level of experience, I learn from my classmates every day.”

Samek arrived to the program from her native Edmonton after taking a break from a career as a civil engineer. A nasty slip on ice in the previous winter caused her a head injury that required months of rest. While on a break from her engineering career, Samek decided to stoke the fires of creativity that existed since she was young.

“I loved my job, but I needed to take a step back,” says the 26-year-old. “The world gave me a sign to stop what I was doing in the moment and follow my creative passions. My whole being has changed since I arrived here. Being in the mountains, focusing on mental and physical health… it’s really important.”

The name of the year-end show means a lot to Samek. Though she had some basic skills coming into the program, instructors Robin Dupont and Martin Tagseth have helped her realize the potential of her creativity. Samek will return to Edmonton to resume her career as an engineer once the program wraps, but she graduates with a lifelong skill that will continue to be explored.

“Every student here puts their heart and soul into everything they are making, they care and it’s evident,” says Samek. “A lot of us forget to see the beauty in the little, everyday things. One part of why I love ceramics is having beautiful, functional art in my life. Whether it’s a mug or a bowl or a big giant jar, it adds joy to your life and it’s valuable.”

You can learn more about the Selkirk College Ceramics Program at:

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