These potters were all active in the Okanagan valley in the early days of B.C. pottery. Aside from Axel Ebring, the Schwenks had what would be considered the earliest pottery studio in the Okanagan.
Axel Ebring (1869 - 1954) is considered the original pioneer potter in British Columbia. An immigrant from Uppsala Sweden, Ebring settled in Notch Hill in the Okanagan valley in the mid-1920s. Using local clay deposits and a wood fired kiln of his own construction, Axel Ebring created and sold wood fired earthenware products that were primarily of a functional purpose. Once his local clay deposits were depleted, he moved to a two care lot in Vernon where he remained and potted until his death in 1954.
While not a direct contemporary of the Schwenks he is certainly worthy of mention due to his historical significance and his influence on pottery in the Okanagan area.
To see examples of Axel Ebring's work click here.
.Walter Dexter (1931 - 2015) is a legendary name in Canadian ceramics. A prolific and gifted potter who taught and produced over the course of a long career, Dexter spent the years from 1963 - 1968 in Kelowna and was a friend of the Schwenks.
Dexter's career is well documented. A good place to start is this article on Barry Morrison's site.
To see examples of Walter Dexter's work from his Kelowna period, click here.
An incredibly talented artist and fascinating individual, Zeljko Kujundzic (1920 - 2003) worked in Kelowna between 1964 and 1968. He was the founder of the Art Centre on Richter Street and art teacher at Rutland High School. During his short stay in the Okanagan, Zeljko quickly established himself as a leader in the arts community.
While Kujundzic worked in a variety of artistic mediums - paint, metal, print, wood, and tapestry, his ceramic work is particularly reflective of his unique style.
For an in-depth look at his story and the scope of his work, visit www.torncanvas.ca.
To see some examples of Zeljko Kujundzic's ceramic work, click here.
Des and Peggy Loan
Des Loan (1928 - 2014) and Peggy Loan (1927 - 2007) created a ceramic studio on the lakefront in Peachland in 1968 but were active potters for years before this. Peggy began by taking pottery night classes in Summerland in the late 1950s, while Des studied under Stan Clarke and John Reeve in the Pottery Hut at UBC in the 1950s.
The Loans were prolific potters and their studio was a popular stop for tourists and locals alike in the Okanagan valley for many years.
To see examples of pottery by the Loans, click here.
Frank Poll (b. 1936) studied at the Kunstacademie in Innsbruck Austria before immigrating and settling in Canada. As a potter he worked his craft in Okanagan Centre until 1965 before he opened his "Pottery Hill" Studio outside Vernon at the site of an old brickyard on Hwy 6 in 1966.
He was an active member in the local arts community, teaching pottery locally and around BC. In 1968 he helped the Caribou Pottery Society get established through a series of workshops. He also formally taught pottery classes at the Okanagan College campus in Kelowna.
To see examples of Frank Poll's pottery, click here.
A native of Kelowna and a graduate of the Vancouver School of Art, Frances Hatfield (1924 - 2014) started out by serving as an apprentice of Kjeld and Erica Deichmann in New Brunswick. Here she learned the European tradition and the high standard of their craftsmanship.
Next she studied under the Japanese master, Shoji Hamada, where she became inspired to simplify life and move to the Naramata bench and into the studio of Adolph Schwenk just after Louise's passing in 1966.
To see examples of pottery by Frances Hatfield, click here.