Sandra Dolph, Ceramic Artist
In 1971, Sandra obtained a BS in Art Education from New York State University
College. Upon graduation, she taught at the Adirondack Center for the Arts, as
well as owned and operated a gallery in upstate New York. After immigrating to
the Canadian Rockies in 1974 and establishing a homestead, Sandra taught and
ran a clay studio specializing in salt/woodfired pottery. In 1989 she relocated to
Galiano Island, British Columbia, where she has spent the last years making a
home for her small family and establishing her studio and gallery set amongst the
beautiful red cedars of BC. Over the years she has hosted and presented numerous
workshops which have focused on various pottery techniques such as throwing,
handbuilding and raku firing. An important aspect of her work in the
ceramics field involves apprentices. Each summer she hosts a new student, to
whom she can pass on her knowledge of clay, business, and gardening. Sandra's
visits to Japan began in 1998, where she studies, makes pots and meditates in a
Zen Buddhist temple.
Sandra's work is presented in various galleries throughout Northwestern Canada, the USA and Japan. As well, each summer on the August long weekend, she hosts a major show at Cedar Grove Gallery called Coastal Journeys: a two-dimensional wall show featuring Sandra's ceramic wall pieces, along with the work of other local artists(see Exhibitions page). Historically, she's had two solo shows at BC Potters Guild Gallery on Granville Island, a solo show at KOBO Gallery in Seattle, and another solo show at the Comox Valley Art Gallery in Courtney, BC. As well, she's been the guest artist twice at Fired Up in Victoria, BC, and will be exhibiting again in 2013.
Sandra Dolph is best known on Galiano Island as a potter with an international reputation. Surface decoration of form has always been a large part of her work. But in the last few years decoration of the flat surface has become a major area of exploration. She uses the rich color of ceramic underglazes, terra sigillatas, and her signature "lichen glaze" to render impressions of the westcoast coastline: the waves and sea, forests and sky. She incises line and texture with found natural objects, sometimes imbedding beach stone or sand into the clay. As well, she uses shells, bark, plants and other interesting prizes that come home with her from her long daily walks along the shores and in the forests of Galiano Island. The resultant two-dimensional but softly undulant works are vibrant, and flushed with warm earthy tones that are indicative of her love of the environment in which she lives.