Historical Timeline

1973 – A small group of potters got together to discuss topics of interest.


1975 – Start having executive meetings and writing up minutes. Ingrid Levine first president. First Christmas Sale at Saw Gallery. Technical Quality Standards established.

1976 – First Sale at the Glebe community Centre and first Spring Sale.Guild Library started with 8 books. Display units built for juried exhibitions.

1977 – Ottawa Guild of Potters incorporated and a competition for a seal was launched with John Reid’s three cones in profile as the one selected.

1978 – Retail space was found in Eric Rasmuisel’s Canadian Ceramic Supply shop. Standards Committee was formed to check all tables at the pottery sales.

1979 – Twin Willows Gallery in Manotick hosts the Guild Exhibition. New meeting space St.Pierre School Friel St. was home to the Guild for 12 years.


1980 – OGP hosts the Ontario Potters Association Conference at Ottawa University with 500 members attending. Ottawa galleries displayed pottery to feature the event. Michael Casson invited to give workshop.

1981 – York Gallery exhibited Earthworks exhibition, taking 15% of the sales. David Leach workshop.

1982 – Algonquin Pottery Studio set up with 5 studio potters renting space. The Guild provided classes through the Continuing Education Dept.

1983 – Newsletter provides information to members. Glebe Community Centre too small for all the potters interested, so the space allotment for each was reduced. The Perfect Setting competition launched by the Ontario Potters’ Association (later Fusion) for dinner settings.

1984 – Earthworks juried by Paula Murray and Her Excellency Lily Schreyer. Three prizes awarded. OGP becomes affiliate of the Ontario Crafts Council. OCC offers new design award. Over-firing of gas kiln at Algonquin College. Robin Hopper workshop.


1985 – Fireworks exhibition juried by Jim Thomson. Wally Keeler workshop.

1986 – Glaze recipe exchange. Ken Cumberland workshop. Charity Table at the Spring sale for Camp Trillium.  Exhibition was Potter’s Choice with each person jurying his own work. Robert Copeland, great-great-grandson to William Copeland, a partner to Josiah Spode, lectured on Spode’s first hundred years. The Ontario Potter’s Association becomes Fusion – the Ontario Clay and Glass Association. Leta Cormier presented on Japanese pottery following her trip to Japan.

1987 – Brainstorming to rejuvenate the Guild. Suggestions included permanent display space, permanent collection of member’s work,  list of member’s expertise, marketing promotion. In Celebration of Spring juried by Victoria Henry of Ufundi Gallery and Randy Anderson Ottawa potter. Sudden loss of the Algonquin College Studio to horticulture class space.

1988 – Alarm raised in Ottawa Citizen about lead in pottery glazes. No one in the Guild used lead glazes on their pots. Workshops by Ankaret Dean ( Oakville fibre artist) on basket weaving techniques, Bruce Cochrane of Sheridan School of Craft and Design on colourful earthenware techniques and Lise Fleury hands-on workshop on sawdust firing. New Visual Arts Centre in Nepean opened.

1989 – David Leach demonstration and family history workshop. Marthe Sirois on crystalline glazes.

1990 – Fusion conference at Carleton U. Two exhibitions – Fireworks and Guild Annual exhibition held on Arts Court. Workshops by Ron Roy on pot design Beyond the Ordinary, Liz Willoughby for hands-on teapots, Robert Tetu on porcelain and Sadashi Inuzuka demo of thrown forms and decoration.

1991 – Guild moves to Fisher Park Community Centre for meetings.  Sales survey indicates that customers learn about the event by: 34% word of mouth, 27% newspaper, 20% Guild flyers, 12% community newspapers, 6% radio (free public service announcements).


1992 – OCC and Fusion both receive donations of $250 each from the Guild. Potters offered demos in lieu of fee at the Tulip Festival. Mimi Cabri talk Bathing in Champagne, about her tile making to refurbish the Champagne Bath. Dr. Trevor Hodge from Carleton U. talked about How the Greeks went to Pot. Inspirations in Clay exhibition juried by John Ikeda and Jim Thomson held at the World Exchange Plaza. Workshops by Eric Lindgren and Seth Cardew.

1994 – Move again – to the Firehall Training Centre on Industrial Ave.Start of bursary offered to promising ceramic art students.

1995 – Library books are not returned on time will pay new fines. Donation to CHEO Burn Unit, since the Fire Hall was rent free. Member workshop potters to receive $75. Growth in the number of potters has caused problems for sales venue. New participation criteria were established.

1996 – Fusion Conference at Carleton U. again with John Leach as guest artist. Fusion Exhibition was in St. Pat’s Hall.   Eight member workshops were held: mixing and measuring glazes, loading and firing an electric kiln, four methods of making plates, throwing off the hump, making goblets, slip trailing, psychology of the rice bowl, building and firing a raku kiln. Guild participated in Ottawa’s Festival of Lights by decorating a tree with withe clay ornaments hung with red ribbons and mini lights. The tree was auctioned and proceeds went to charities.

1997 – Festival of Lights participation again. Closing of the Glebe Community Centre for 3 years requires that the Sale moves to the Hellenic Centre in the Spring of 1999, with a space that is twice as big. Student bursaries to 3 high school students. Workshops included Intro to the Artist’s Way by Heather Mallett and Throwing and Glazing by Carol Ann Michaelson.


1998 – Planning for the 25th anniversary celebration, starting with cotton T shirts. Malcolm Davis workshop. Three year limit established for any Executive Member role. Another white ornamented Christmas Tree Auction to Big Sisters.

1999 – Spring Fling 25th-year celebration at Lynda Northey’s. Lynda has invited potters to her place every year since 1984! The Sales positions of convenor and co-convenor  increased to 5 members: Treasurer, Application Convenor, Shirt Convenor, Job Convenor and Publicity. Christmas sale at the Hellenic Centre was a huge success. Launch of Hungry Bowls with Rasputins: free soup on the purchase of a bowl in December. Over 100 bowls donated and customers paid $10 to go to the Food Bank. History written by Doris McIlroy as another 25th anniversary project.

2000 – New Millennium – new reason to celebrate with the exhibition Who We are as Potters held at Ottawa Carleton Regional Headquarters (now Ottawa City Hall).

2013 – Our 40th anniversary.  Let’s celebrate together! Clay Olympics, group mosaic and exhibition. Cynthia Bringle was invited to present her methods and thoughts about her vast experience as a potter.  

2016 – Some great workshops! Lesley McInally, Tom Lambert and a new initiative with Hintonburg Pottery starting in September.

2017 – The Guild will be hosting the 2017 FUSION Conference.

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