Play with Clay at HCA


HCA is happy to welcome Lucy Gerritson Beardwood to our Visual Arts Faculty as the lead instructor of our Clay Program on Wednesday nights. What does the new program entail? We sat down with Lucy to discuss her background and experiences, and why clay is such a great artistic medium!

HCA: Could you tell us a bit about your artistic background? What draws you to working with clay?

LUCY: I began thinking of myself as an artist in high school. I had really excellent teachers who mentored me and encouraged me to work with clay, as well as other mediums. I spent hours in the art room learning to throw pots. Eventually I bought my own kiln and fired at home during and after university. My view of the world was heavily influenced by Japanese philosophies and through my involvement in the way of Judo. I became aware of the Art & Craft movement that had been developing in England and Europe in the early 1900s, later influenced by the Folk Art Movement of Soetsu Yanagi, Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada. When I travelled to Japan in ’83-84, I went to Hamada’s hometown of Mashiko and was enthralled by the pottery and clay work done there. The simplicity, unassuming nature and meditative quality of things handmade is what drew me to work with clay.

HCA: What are your top tips for creating art & pottery with clay?

LUCY: As with every medium, learning to understand the properties of the medium and how it works — how you respond to it, is the first step to creating art or pottery with clay. Have fun playing, to discover what you can do with it. Have patience.

HCA: What's your favourite thing about working at HCA and teaching art?

LUCY: HCA is about learning the processes and techniques of art and creativity. I love the shared enthusiasm for using simple everyday objects in new ways, the unassuming, unpretentious and completely open approach to art.

HCA: How would you describe your teaching style?

LUCY: I supposed my style of teaching is one of leading or guiding students to discovery—of technique, material and self. I am passionate about mentoring students to gain confidence in themselves to explore and develop their own creativity.

HCA: Why should people sign up for HCA Clay courses?

LUCY: HCA is a unique place. The clay program is an exciting initiative and opportunity for kids, teens and adults to explore clay, learn new things and have a lot of fun too.

For more information on our clay classes, please call us at 905-528-4020 or email