Vessel for creativity Mentor and ceramic maker Toluwalope Toludare showcased as part of Craft in Colour
Read this article for free:
Already have an account? Log in here »
To continue reading, please subscribe:
Monthly Digital Subscription
$4.75 per week*
- Enjoy unlimited reading on winnipegfreepress.com
- Read the E-Edition, our digital replica newspaper
- Access News Break, our award-winning app
- Play interactive puzzles
*Billed as $19.00 plus GST every four weeks. Cancel anytime.
Toluwalope Toludare has a passion for clay.
His admiration for its versatility as a material of “infinite possibilities” comes from years of studying the material and working with it.
The 41-year-old father of two received his doctorate in ceramics studio research from the Federal University of Technology Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria and has been teaching and practising ceramics since 2011.
He is currently the resident artist at the Edge Gallery where he spends his days either making art on his potter’s wheel or mentoring other artists and members of the gallery.
“My interests have always been in the arts,” he says. “For me, coming from a science background I can see that ceramics can be applied in all phases of life, in science, in art, in engineering, in the medical field.
“But ceramics was born from art; it was literally from making aesthetics that we discovered what ceramics can do. This is the most fascinating part for me.”
Toludare creates daily and has made so many pieces he’s trying to reduce his output as he no longer has the space to store his work.
“I create every day of the week,” he says. “As soon as I have anything in my mind, I pick up my clay and bring it to life. People know me to make big work, that is almost like my trademark. I usually make three-foot-tall sized big pots, but I can make things in all sizes. I can make the smallest thing you can imagine.”
His day usually begins at 9 a.m. when he enters his studio. He starts wedging his clay on the wedging table, preferring to work with a certain type of clay. Currently it’s the M340 from Plainsman Clays.
“For me, the most challenging part of creating a sculpture is the type of clay used. There are different types of clay out there with different qualities and properties. To make a large piece on the wheel your clay must be able to withstand the pressure and the weight of upcoming clay. Temperature also affects the clay — another reason a potter must understand the qualities of his clay before use.”
One of the pieces Toludare is currently working on is a project with the Ethnocultural Council of Manitoba. He describes his creations as “African-Asian”, striving to make his work look aesthetically balanced between that of African and Asian masterpieces.
He takes his inspiration from many sources, confidently converting abstract ideas to tangible works of art with his mastery of clay. Concepts are sketched out before the drawing is transformed into reality.
Whilst Toludare loves turning the big pots he is known for, he would like to reconnect with his technical ceramics research and hopes to begin work on a line of commercially available ceramic glazes, an extension of his science background.
While his work can be found at potterybytolu.com and on Instagram @potterybytolu, he is currently part of Craft in Colour, the Manitoba Craft Council (MCC) bienniel showcase, which includes art by 70 MCC members.
His featured piece is called Dudu Osun, a terracotta vessel designed with African fabrics to showcase the colourful nature of African culture.
“As a community arts organization, it’s always so much fun to celebrate the work of our members and see the incredible work coming out of their studios. Everyone has one work on display which was made in the last three years,” says Katrina Craig, MCC program and outreach co-ordinator.
“There is a huge variety of works on display in a variety of craft mediums. You can find work made with textiles, ceramics, wood, paper, metal, and glass. There is a mix of more traditional and contemporary craft works on display from artists of all backgrounds,” she continues.
The MCC Craft in Colour show runs until Thursday, Feb. 23 at the C2 Centre for Craft at 1-329 Cumberland Ave.
If you value coverage of Manitoba’s arts scene, help us do more.
Your contribution of $10, $25 or more will allow the Free Press to deepen our reporting on theatre, dance, music and galleries while also ensuring the broadest possible audience can access our arts journalism. BECOME AN ARTS JOURNALISM SUPPORTER Click here to learn more about the project.
AV Kitching is an arts and life writer at the Free Press.