Studio Tour Video Contest: Finalist #1 – Breakaway Pottery

When we announced our studio tour video contest, we had no idea what to expect. People seemed interested, but would anyone really take the time to plan out, film, edit, and submit studio tour videos? Who knew? So, we crossed our fingers and hoped for at least three good videos to post as finalists. In the end, we were overwhelmed by how many terrific videos we received. Some were funny, some were moving, and most were loaded with great tips that we couldn’t wait to share with our readers.

After much difficult deliberation, we think we chose three very deserving finalists. We will present them today, Wednesday, January 27, and Friday, January 29. A link to the voting page for the grand prize winner will be posted on Friday January 29, and voting will continue through midnight (Eastern Standard Time) Monday, February 1.

We hope you enjoy these videos as much as we have! – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.


Studio Tour Video Contest
Finalist 1:

Breakaway Pottery
Vernon, British Columbia, Canada

[flash mode=0 f={image=/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/svfinalist1_still.jpg}]


Having trouble watching the Video?

Please see our Video FAQ to troubleshoot.

We’d like to send a
great big THANK YOU to everyone who entered the contest. It has been so
much fun to get these personal glimpses into your spaces. And let me
tell you, it was very difficult to pick our three finalists. In our
viewing/judging party (I mean meeting), the passions flared as our
staff members made the case for their favorites. Expletives were hurled
and fists flew. Okay, maybe I’m embellishing a bit, but it was REALLY hard!

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite studio tour video
January 29 – February 1, 2010!
The grand prize winner gets a Skutt Elite Potters Wheel!


  • I liked the idea of recycling and leaving a minimum footprint on the environment. It made me want to go and be a part of that studio.

  • I want to open a pottery studio in an old school now. The spirit of discovery in that studio was really inspirational.

  • Touch the earth lightly. What a great potter’s motto. Could mean the preservation of our natural resources, or your touch on the clay. I also like the potters P4: Patience, Perservance, Practice and Play.

    Great job on the video–truly a fun studio. Hard act to follow–good luck in the finals!

  • Pottery work is admirable and awesome use of techniques to give your pottery that unique look.

    All the best to all the participants

  • I would like to know about this no running water issue and how you are dealing with it for clean up and other workings in the studio.

  • Thanks for the comments. Clay, in answer to your question. I live across the road, so the “running water” is me carrying it across the road in five gallon containers. It has been interesting to see how you can conserve and reuse water when this is the issue. For example when we clean out the spray booth water is captured in a bucket below along with excess glaze. When the glaze settles out we skim the water and reuse for cleaning the booth. It has also been interesting to see the “mystery” glazes we produce.

  • Wonderful video – I love your ability to recycle virtually everything! some of things I saw in your video have inspired me to repurpose more items from my environment.
    The students all look like they’re having a great time and have developed a great bond with eachother – I think thats very important in a teaching environment.
    Thanks so much for the look into your art and processes

  • It’a great that you recycle so much, even the water!

  • Good souls… but the truth is that is a really bad studio tour and a bad video…

  • i loved it — what a fun group of people — a couple of my new ideas did not work out well — now my enthusiasm is rekindled — thankyou and good luck–ginny

  • I’m with Peter (above). Nice people, nice techniques and recycling tips, etc., but the video and sound quality left much to be desired. I could not even see the details and colors of most of the work they were showing! I’m hoping the coming videos get better. Sorry, I hate to be picky, but how could this be one of the finalists??

  • I thought it was a wonderful video. Yes, the quality was not perfect. Hmmm, I wonder if expert film makers can also throw lovely pots????? It seems to me that the idea behind this is to show how fellow potters can enjoy practicing their art and skills all the while enjoying and protecting natures beauty. I was looking at the content not the film quality. A very good video deserving to be chosen as a finalist.

  • It was a really fun video to watch and I got a few new ideas. My studio is very small and it was terrific to see the uses of recyled materials. I enjoyed the music which is always something I keep going the verve going as I work.

  • I agree with Lorraine…..not the greatest quality….but the content is superior….like the method of handbuilding on foam……and a YES to the recycling!

  • Thanks Al We are doing the same thing with water. But just got a big stainless sink from craigs list and will using it soon!

  • Ann Suchecki was by far the best and the best issue said was YOU JUST GOT TO WORK! But there must have been some better studios. The work of all three chosen however is like something we may see from the 60’s. I guess there must have been some really really bad submissions if these were the best three choices?? I use your site to some degree in my teaching and always say, “just because it is in CM or on ceramics daily does not validate it as quality or something to be influenced by”. These videos are a prime examples of that. Maybe in your defense you didn’t have much to chose from? But there are so many levels of every discipline to the hobby potters that we see on this site to the professionals we see here also. I think this site would do a better service to our discipline if they were more critical and discerning about what they publish. I would have liked to see a professionals studio that really talked to students and hobby potters about how to deal with safety issues and maybe a little about concept development in their own work. The first video for instance, Al says they use the “clean” water off the top of their glaze water for throwing?? Clean water??? Dipping your hands in glaze materials may not be something ceramics daily wants to teach young or old ceramics students to be in the habit of doing???? The idea was sound and the first studio visits posted like Jeff Compana’s may have been better choices for videos.

  • Clive I wish to correct an apparent piece of misinformation you may have acquired. We DO NOT use skimmed glaze water for throwing. The only way that type of water is used is in the cleaning of the spray booth and is taken from the overflow bucket using a dipper and allowed to settle. The water is then poured into the critter spray jar and sprayed into the booth there by washing equipment and the walls of the booth. I agree safety is of great importance in everything we do. It was a real challenge to share all that we could in under 10 minutes. If you are interested contact me directly as so many viewers have and I will be happy to share whatever else we do that would be of interest to you. Thanks Al

  • Clive,

    Thanks for your feedback, but please remember that we asked for “video that’s a creative, friendly, entertaining, and informative glimpse into your studio. Viewers should feel like they are getting a personal tour of your studio.” We intentionally left this contest wide open to see how our readers are working in clay and we got a wide variety of submissions – a testament to the many creative ways people make room for clay in their lives.

    We understand that, with 55,000 subscribers, there would be differing expectations for this contest. We will keep your feedback in mind, and we encourage you to submit your own video tour addressing the issues you mention above.

    Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

  • …you should show everybody’s videos. Does it always have to be a contest?

  • Personally, I loved all the videos. The point is, working with clay can be accomplished with little financial investment or luxury of dedicated space, while still yielding a very high quality product and using a ‘green’ approach.
    The homespun studios with homemade tools illustrate techniques, creative determination, and innovations of value that are independent of the actual detail left by a given stamp on a given pot or the resolution of a homemade video.
    Clive and Peter, my feeling is that you’re choosing to seek petty faults while failing to illustrate or even suggest a more effective way of accomplishing the same goals, while simultaneously ignoring the social, therapeutic, and artistic benefits (among others) that each of these potters has addressed, all of which smacks of a negatively critical attitude tinged heavily with snobbery (attitudes I’ve seldom seen in clay artists).
    You give the impression of being otherwise fairly intelligent people. It truly would be an inspiration to see how you achieve so much with so little, and I hope that you will back your criticisms with your own videos.
    My special Kudos to the Cracked Potters. You not only addressed some of the therapeutic benefits, but also gently and briefly touched on the part of sensory gating issues in art, sanctuary, and recovery–whether it be from serious trauma or from a rough day. You demonstrated that it’s possible to engage creative intellect, even with debilitating physical and cognitive deficits; something we all need to consider in our artistic endeavours. Thanks for putting yourself ‘out there’.– Raven

  • From one fledgling BC Pottery School to another I found your video inspiring and innovative. Thanks for the tips!
    eARTh Studios Nelson, BC

  • Well its Feb. 1st,2010 at 11:20 pm and I just got a chance to check out the studios that have ended up being the three finalists and I have enjoyed seeing and hearing what they all had to say. I would like to comment on what some folks had to say about the videos — I am a clay artist not a film maker or a professional photographer and I’m sure that is the case with most of us. I think everyone did a great job and I enjoyed each and every one of the videos. I love to make ART and see others do the same. I would like to see more of what my fellow clay artists are doing. Thanks, Floyd Reynolds

  • Hi From North Carolina

    I really enjoyed your video.

    Looks like your studio is great fun and full of ideas.

    Jill Ferrari

Enter Your Log In Credentials
This setting should only be used on your home or work computer.

Larger version of the image

Send this to a friend