ROSE BLANCHE – HARBOUR LE COU – In August 2019, shortly prior to the Writers at Woody Point Festival, John and Jane Wright found themselves exploring the west coast of Newfoundland. The pair had visited years before and fell in love with the province, but back then they still lived and worked just south of Vancouver, British Columbia and toyed with the idea of buying a summer home. But they didn’t proceed with the idea.
Last summer they returned and spent a few days exploring the Southwest coast while staying at the Lightkeepers Inn B&B. The couple were enchanted by the scenery, the residents and even the weather.
“One afternoon we were out walking and came across a ‘For Sale’ sign on a blue house on Big Bottom Road. The owner happened to be on site and gave us a five minute tour of the house,” wrote John Wright via e-mail.
The Wrights toyed with the idea while at the concert, and over a beer in a Woody Point pub just a few days before they were scheduled to fly home, decided to buy the house.
“We returned to Rose Blanche in October 2019 to see exactly what it was we had bought and came away confident we had indeed made the right decision,” said John.
Along with the house, the Wrights had purchased a decent sized shed, wired and close to the road for easy access. Right away John started toying with the idea of building a pottery studio. He’s been a potter for going on five decades now, and knew he would want to continue pottery throwing (the act of making pottery) during summers at their new home.
“There is some artistic history in Rose Blanche,” noted John. “The well-known Canadian painter Horace Champagne once had a summer residence in the village and there is a glass artist out on Parson’s Point.”
The couple hadn’t noticed a lot of pottery during their West coast visit, and opening up a small studio to create and sell pottery seemed a great way for John and Jane to immerse themselves in the area.
“Planning the studio began to occupy my mind over last winter,” wrote John. “This year, we were able to come to Newfoundland because of owning property there, as well as having Newfoundland drivers’ licenses and owning a car in the province. We had to isolate for the first two weeks but that was okay. It’s a really lovely place to hang out anyway.”
During their trip this summer, John located a used kiln for sale in Bunyan’s Cove and the couple drove up to get it. This winter he intends to locate a potter’s wheel, some clay and other tools and supplies to complete the setup of his studio, which he plans to call Shed Pottery, when they return in May 2021. He also plans to ship down some of the wares he’s crafting in the meantime so that he can open the studio to visitors.
He has a selection of mugs, bowls, teapots, butter dishes and other useful pieces, as well as decorative houses and ceramic fish. He also plans on doing more pottery throwing in his new studio to add to that inventory.
“Lately I have been making a series of ceramic houses inspired by the homes I see in Newfoundland,” said John.
Although John has been teaching pottery for over 20 years, his Shed Pottery studio will be too small to offer classes.
“I will be happy to welcome people into the studio to observe the magic of this craft. I hope to meet you at Shed Pottery, 54 Big Bottom Road, Rose Blanche during Summer 2021,” wrote John.
Anyone wishing to learn more about John’s pottery are invited to check out his website at www.johnwrightpottery.com.