- LAURA TAYLOR, POTTER
Laura Taylor's pottery is vibrant and bold. It is also very diverse. It ranges from cozy windows with curtains to roses to swimming mermaids. One thing all her pieces have in common: none of them fail to catch your attention.
Laura has been working as a potter in Guelph for five and a half years. She began taking art in school because it was the only way she could get out of taking gym. From there she went to a secondary school in London, Ontario, where she could take half a day of art in grades 11 and 12 and a full day of art in grade 13. She majored in etching and minored in clay because she decided clay was "too fun" to major in; she got over that problem in her first year. From there she went on to the Emily Carr College of Art and Design where she took a four year major in clay. Her first studio was in Port Stanley where, in order to support herself, she did artwork for computer programs.
She started making a living from her pottery as soon as she moved to Guelph. "It was amazing the way things came together, someone mentioned there was a studio to share on Wyndham Street and the week-end I came down, Goldie just happened to be looking for someone to share the space." Laura shares the studio space with Goldie Sherman, another potter. She thinks she began to do well immediately because the studio at 25A Wyndham Street has been there for 18 years; people know about it.
Laura's inspiration comes mostly from daily living . When she married recently she created the piece pictured on her web page, "Love is friendship set on fire". Not too long ago five friends died quite close together; she has a design she developed out of working through that experience. "I sometimes don't know how people will react to something like that, maybe they'll think it's really heavy, but I had a lot of positive feedback about it and that made me feel good." She has another design that she began on plates and has just begun to put on mugs. It is a woman with a crown, sceptre and obviously hairy legs; the mug reads: "her hairy legged highness". This, she says, is something her husband called her one day when she was being pushy and she thought it was so funny she had to use it. Others can obviously relate. Now when women in her shop see the mug, she hears their hair stories. When she first started it was difficult to get inspiration. "It's really hard. You have such a small vocabulary, you know, a line, a triangle, it's such a struggle. Now I have a large dictionary of things I've tried over time."
Laura feels that pleasant surroundings affect your mental and spiritual state. We need to have a balance that is harmonious. Dishes are a part of those attractive surroundings, beautiful dishes also help with the ritual of eating. And yes, except for a very few, all her dishes come from a potter's hand.
Laura is also interested in sculpting and almost pursued that instead of pottery. She hopes to find more time to pursue this interest one day.
Laura's pottery is available for sale out of her studio; she also does small craft shows around the area and has done Fair November every year since moving to Guelph.
- Christine Stodart, February 1998