Thursday, October 14, 2010

Studio Visit: Ted Driediger

Last weekend, while at my parent's place for Thanksgiving, I visited Ted Driediger's Pottery studio and thought I'd share it here with you.  Now, I spent my teenage years in this small, rural town of about 2000 people.  It's a town with a couple of restaurants, 3 gas stations, a small community bank and post office, 1 elementary school, about 4 churches and a wack of potters nestled in between the 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. 


laruelapalooza said...

What a great story! I cannot imageine what it would be like to support a family as a potter using such old school methods. It humbles me to think how easy it is now a days to connect with people all over the world with the click of a button!

SOS mommy said...

Hi, Was looking for some information on Ted Driediger, and stumbled across your post - I hope it is alright if I link to you?
Great post, and wonderful blog you've got!