Thursday, 22 September 2011


Dear Friends,
Welcome to Harwin Enterprises, the home of Harwin Pottery.
It is indeed my pleasure to share with you the many items created lovingly in my studio. 

Let's begin with the name "HARWIN".  
It is not my surname, but has certainly become my moniker.
HAR comes from the first three letters of my father's name ~HAROLD~. 
The next three letters, WIN come from my mother's name ~WINONA~.  
This blended name is a tribute to my parents who have supported and guided me so lovingly. 

Next, let me explain the rationale behind "The Accidental Potter" self imposed brand...
I first tried my hand at pottery in the year 2000.  I appeared in class with a long list of the pottery items I intended to make.  The craft was so unique, the wheel so uncooperative, and my skills so limited, that my pottery career was short lived.  Added to that, the course was cancelled before the ten week session ended leaving the students with unfinished projects and a feeling of unsettled expression. Alas, my pottery career "accidentally" ended.

Now it's 2007 and I endeavor to try and master the craft, one more time.  My spirits were dashed, week after week, as the creations I completed were only large enough to stuff into an envelop.  I was "accident" prone...causing many of my creations to come crashing into a pile on the potter's wheel.  As my efforts to increase the size of my creations continued, they too were often reduced to rubble, but, never fear, always optimistic, I tried to structure the rubble into some creation...often "accidentally". 

The years progressed.  Once, when asked, "Why are you taking this class?"  I replied, "I want to do the wheel well!" 

When my clay gets really wet, I often lose control of the intended outcome (more on that in a jiffy).  Many of my "dashed" hopes made it to the kiln for the bisque firing, and again for the glaze firing, out of sheer stubbornness.  Lately, many of my most talked about creations have been the results of "accidentally" going beyond the intended state, but, by sticking to my guns I was able to bring the creation to fruition. 

Speaking of outcomes, I never really set out to make a specific bowl, mug, or plate.  I allow myself a certain quantity of clay, throw it on the wheel, and let a combination of wheel speed, water, clay, sweat equity, and determination lead me to a creation.  I would be hard pressed to make a mug if order to.  I would be able to do every other vessel except a mug. 

That's why I am "the accidental potter".  What I create, I create, accidentally

(So don't be in any rush to commission me to do a set of whatever: mugs; plates; saucers; bowls;...unless it has already, "accidentally" been created.)  Just so you know, my bowls, mugs, and wheel creations are always ONE OF A KIND "accidentally" created by me, for you and others to enjoy.  It is the uniqueness of my pieces that make them so interesting. 

Needless to say, over the last 4 years, using pottery as a healing therapy, I have developed some skill.

Glazing is a very difficult and crutial component of the pottery process.  Many glazes do not resemble the colour label on the container because of the natural ingredients that are included in the recipe.  For example, a blue glossy glaze is often a redwood colour when applied.  Opening the kiln and collecting your pieces is always like "Christmas morning".   You never know what you will find.   Sometimes good; sometimes bad; sometimes cracked; damaged; or imbedded with kiln wash; the unveiling can be as rewarding as winning a lottery, or as frustrating as breaking your favourite family heirloom.  Trust me when I say that I have had some mishaps in the glazing department too.  I have learned not to be afraid to use glazes.  I tend to use them in combinations, usually a trio of colours.  This has garnered me the casual title of "glaze consultant" among my pottery classmates. 

Soon I will be sharing with you a selection of photos of my finished pottery.
Until next time, cheers!

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