Craig Fairley, potter and ceramic artist
What did my world look like before colonization — before the Anthropocene era? Virtually no human influence in the landscape, just trees, meadows, streams, rocks and bogs left to evolve on their own. What will it look like after we’re gone? That is the world I wonder about and wish to be a part of.
But here is the paradox: While ceramic elements come from the earth — they are part of that pre-human world — pottery, by definition, is made only through human intervention, permanently moving those elements from the natural to the human world. How to I deal with that?
I am a person who likes order, with things tidily in their place and following a predictable pattern or leading to a logical conclusion. What an odd mix of ideas! I suppose that’s why I lean toward free-form decorating and organic motifs on a simple, straightforward pot.
I love working with clay—especially on the wheel. Under a potter’s hands the clay comes to life, growing and changing, taking on a new form, alive with purpose and potential. And the glazing process is pure magic, despite what the scientists say.
Craig Fairley has been creating with clay and fire for over 12 years. He has studied ceramics at Fleming College’s Haliburton School of Art + Design (Barbara-Joy Peel); Art Gallery of Burlington (Helen Beswick); and Mohawk College (Sheila Clennell, Christopher Reid Flock, Duncan Aird and Emma Smith).
Most of Craig’s works are functional pieces thrown on the wheel. They include tableware, vases, and some jewellery. They are fired in either electric (oxidation) or gas-fired (reduction) kilns, depending on the desired outcome.
Works are sold mainly through select craft and art events.
Craig is married to an incredibly patient and supportive wife, with three grown children and three adorable granddaughters. He lives in Burlington Ontario, a small city caught between Toronto and Hamilton.
His faith informs who he is and what he does, (hopefully) without being preachy or judgemental.
His favourite motto is “Never say never.”
He is against the Oxford comma.
That’s all you need to know about Craig. The rest is too boring to mention.