Thursday, October 14, 2010
Studio Visit: Ted Driediger
Vedder Mountain and Vedder River. Back when I lived in Yarrow, there were only 3 Potters in town. Ted Driediger was certainly one of the first- having been potting there for 40 years now. Yes, you read that right, the man has been making and selling his pots to the community for a very long time!
He doesn't have a website or even an email address. His 'marketing strategy' is printing off a postcard twice a year and snail-mailing them to his mailing list to advertise for his Spring or Winter Pottery sale. He doesn't sell his work in any galleries or shops. Yup, he's old school.
I have a deep respect for what Ted has done over the years. The humble potter lifestyle that he began back in the 70's and has been able to maintain all these years was something I dreamt about when I was first starting my career. To wake up in the morning and walk outside to a shed-like studio, start the gas on a reduction kiln, sit down at the wheel to start throwing and then chat with a neighbour who drops by to purchase a gift for an up-coming wedding- how great is that. He raised his family making pots in his studio by the house.
I'm making pots in a really different generation that Ted has done, starting my career where this kind of lifestyle doesn't quite seem realistic or possible. And I'm not really sure that it's how I'd like my career to be anyways. It's so refreshing, though, to visit someone who's not really concerned with much in internet land. He's got his glaze tests out, his tried and true methods, he's still eagerly making work (and lots of it), he works hard, and at the end of the day, he's a happy man.