Aberthau Potters is a diverse group of people drawn together in their curiosity about clay, be it through hand-building, wheel-throwing, or sculpture. Formed in 1974, the history of Aberthau Potters is intertwined with Aberthau Mansion and the founding of the West Point Grey Community Centre.
Today the thriving potters club has over fifty members and associates sharing ideas, techniques, and studio space. The club organizes workshops and other learning opportunities for its members, maintains a resource library, and offers two public sales per year. The Club is a registered BC Society and operates in association with the West Point Grey Community Centre.
For nearly 50 years the Aberthau Potters have shared their love of working with clay. Originally known as the West Point Grey Potters Club and part of the West Point Grey Recreation Project, the club’s goal was to expand the knowledge of ceramics within the community. The first classes were held in what is now the Jericho Arts Centre with a small group of amateur potters doing everything from potting to making the glazes to loading the kilns. When the Aberthau Mansion was officially opened as a community centre in 1974, classes were moved to the basement of Aberthau Mansion.
The members were taught the complex art and science of blending glazes and worked together to manage the studio. They were allowed to pot in between teaching sessions. Members and students now share an old coach house east of the mansion, under the aegis of the West Point Grey Community Centre. The operation has gradually become more complex as it has grown, eventually moving to hire both a studio manager and a glaze technician.
Gradually, displays and sales became a regular feature of the club; the two annual sales have become much anticipated community events.
Adapted by the residing club president from the original history compiled by a founding member, Maria Tomsich for the occasion of the club’s 30th Anniversary.
The Pottery Studio is housed in the converted Coach House of the historic Aberthau Mansion at 4397 West 2nd Avenue in West Point Grey.
Once used to stable horses, the studio is now shared by the Aberthau Potters and pottery students from the West Point Grey Community Centre.