In the late 1940’s a small group of home potters were looking for a place with qualified instructors, better equipment and more space. Their quest led them to the Edmonton Public School Board and Victoria Composite High School which had recently built a new ceramics room in the school.
In 1951, the room became operational.
Equipment and tools were purchased for high school students and a class of 20 adults.
The following year, however, the high school program was cancelled due to the School Board’s inability to acquire a qualified teacher, as well as a lack of interest from the students.
The adult students, however, were determined to continue and succeeded in leasing the Ceramics Room from the Edmonton Public School Board.
The Edmonton Potters’ Guild was formed in December of 1952.
The organization of classes and the operation of the ceramic workshop became the sole responsibility of the Guild. Equipment has expanded many times since then to accommodate an increasing membership.
For many years, the Guild produced low-fire earthenware. Following the acquisition of a gas kiln and an array of suitable high fire glazes, we now produce only high fired stoneware.
With 84 members, the Edmonton Potters’ Guild is one of the largest group of independent potters in North America. Over 1,000 potters have been trained in this institution and these artisans are now contributing to a flourishing creative activity provincially, nationally and internationally.
In March of 2020 we lost access to the studio space due to the COVID pandemic.
After having the basement of the historic wing of Victoria School for the Arts as our crowded, but comfy, home for 68 years, everything was packed up and the search was on for a new space.
A lease was acquired on a larger space with natural light and ground level access.
After a big move and some renovations, a new studio was opened in July of 2021.
A new gas-fired kiln has been purchased and installed at our new South Edmonton studio on 51st Avenue.
We have started potting again look forward to a bright future.
A few of the well known Alberta potters who have participated in Guild activities in the past, include:
Jane Van Alderwegen