Judith Hale

I like to credit my love of art to my grandmother, whose watercolours, carvings and metal work graced my childhood home.

I was born on the Island, grew up in Vancouver, but spent every summer as a wild child in Cowichan Bay. As an adult, living in Winnipeg, I began making my own art, initially as a way to create some balance in an otherwise hectic family life and intense career as a counsellor. I enrolled in drawing classes, then incorporated watercolour painting and printmaking into my repertoire, but knew I had found my medium when I started to work with clay. There was something miraculous about the transformational process of taking a lump of earth through a series of known stages (employing whatever skills and knowledge I possessed at the time), enduring chance, happenstance and mishap, through two or more intense firings, to be revealed as something transformed. The journey of clay to a work of art is much like the human journey; it is a deceptively simple process that takes a lifetime to master, “best understood backwards, but has to be lived forward”.

In my early years as a ceramic artist I worked mostly with porcelain, struggling to make everything perfect. As I continue on my human journey, I have embraced the spirituality of imperfection and the laws of chance; appreciating the flaws and imperfections as the places “where the light comes in” and all pieces as test tiles. Five years ago I moved back to the Island to the wilder west coast. All of my work is inspired by the natural world that surrounds me and the forces of nature that continually transform it.