Helga Sultano: The Potter
I am a potter in the Niagara area of Ontario, Canada. I am the owner of Grandview Pots Ceramic Studio, located near the pounding shores of Lake Ontario.
My love of pottery first began when I was invited by a close friend to take a class. This was back in 1995 and that first class was at the Burlington Arts Centre. I then continued to study at the Dundas Valley School of Art and also witht the Mississauga Potters Guild. I was a guild member there for many years and I am a current member of the Hamilton Potters Guild. I was inspired by all the incredibly experienced and talented instructors and fellow students that I have had the pleasure to meet. Last but not least I get a lot of my inspiration from nature and everyday items but I get my true inspiration from my mother who was a fabulous potter and artist in her own right and always encouraged me to express my talents.
I sometimes work at a local community studio that is run by Robbie Schmidt, an incredible person and potter who’s vast knowledge of clay and glazes is incomparable. I also work in my spacious home studio, pursuing my love of creating my functional and fun pottery, experimenting with the alchemy of the glazes and the sometimes surprising results, as well as all the effects of the textures that bend and fold the light reflecting off the glazes. Enjoying in all the wonderful results that surprises me after the final firing is complete and the variable colors of the glazes are revealed.
How I make my pieces:
The process of making pottery is thousands of years old. I sculpt and throw on the potter’s wheel to create a piece that is not just beautiful but will also stand the test of time. After the pot is created by hand or on the wheel it is allowed to slow dry while the intricate details are added and tweaked, before being fired to 1850 F in a bisque firing. After the bisque firing the piece is glazed using high fired glazes and under glazes for that perfect vitrification. All of my work is finished by firing it in an electric kiln to 2400 F in a reduction atmosphere, which fuses the glaze to the clay body. My pieces are dishwasher safe and lead free. All of my work is made to the highest standards with functionality and presentation in mind and should provide years of enjoyment. Perhaps some of them will still be around thousands of years from now.
I believe my pieces are honest and enchanting because of my dedication to continue learning and because of my meticulous methods. As my pieces leave my studio and go on to their new homes to be used and appreciated, I sincerely hope that they bring great joy to their owners for years to come.