An excerpt I wrote from an online discussion about women in ceramics:
"From Ladi Kwali¹ and Lucie Rie to Betty Woodman⁵, the work of women in clay has represented strong, diverse, creative, and inspiring voices since we started documenting the work of individual studio potters. There have been wild women, like Emily Carr, crafting their own unique path in clay, drawing from un-named indigenous women’s work, and there have been women who work with their man, like Janet Hammer or Helga Grove, and there have been collectives of women potters, like Cranberry Pottery which operated for 35 years out of Powell River, B.C.! I had occasion to train and work with one of their apprentices; she was very skilled and a pleasure to work with.
My first teacher was a tough, no-nonsense Brit named Jane Williams. She used to make lovely black and white slipware on her kick-wheel, and she dug her own rich-red earthenware clay from the local river bank. Like I said, she was double tough, and a great teacher.
Currently I am finding mystery and pleasure in the work of a British clay maker, originally from Poland, Maggie Jablonska⁴. Some of the POV’s on her site crack me up, but her work cuts to the heart. It looks like she is starting to do time-based clay sculptures, as does Professor Linda Swanson³, at Concordia’s ceramics department.
I am sorry that I do not know much about Québec women clay artists, I am new to the scene. Perhaps it’s time for a book that bridges old and new? It would be great to see that. Where are those pesky biographers when you need them?! P.S. I forgot to mention M.C. Richards², a giant in the field."
The following are just a few references to women who worked(ing) in clay: