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Blackbird Pottery is owned and operated by yours truly, April Gates. My clay journey began with a leap of faith...

After years of creative wandering & various studies I was summoned north to stick my hands in clay.

Seduced at first touch ~ both medium and place fit like a glove. With a background in image making and a concern for function, Blackbird Pottery was born! I'm largely influenced by the land around us, all things vintage, nostalgia, and prose.

Throughout my journey as a maker, I've been interested in community building. From being a proud founding member helping to establish a local arts collective & gallery, launching Empty Bowls Projects, to working with Make & Do, a Canadian Collective dedicated to raising the profile of Canadian Ceramics across the country and beyond.

I have 22 years of working in clay behind me, and hope for the same ahead. Sharing space, skills and knowledge through teaching has been a huge complimentary joy to my life as a maker. Early on, I cut my teeth by first being a studio tech, working alongside an amazing list of mentors, then graduated into teaching with the Haliburton School of Art & Design. There, I worked from leading workshops with kids & youth, to teaching adults in Summer School, onward to to Certificate & Diploma students in Ceramics, Visual & Creative Arts and Integrated Design Programs. Now with a full time practice and space to share with others, I teach classes, special interest Workshops and where I can, private workshops from my own studio where I live & work, at the historic Donald Schoolhouse. When time permits, I steal away as a guest artist to share space with other Clay peeps.

 My Studio is just minutes from the village of Haliburton where I enjoy hosting not only classes, but special events, talking pots, rural life and craft. Brick by brick, Blackbird Pottery continues to evolve in an amazing pocket of Canada! I'm grateful for the inspiration that surrounds us and the ever expanding ceramics community.


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