Sietze Praamsma

My inspiration

Functional pottery. Experimenting with glazes.  Plants, flowers. “Primitive” pottery.  Art in general.  Working with my hands.

My art history

More like anti-art history.  Mostly self-taught.  Worked as a technician for Don Reitz in Madison, Wisconsin and at Sheridan School of Design.  Participated in a number of workshops. Did some jewelry a long time ago.  Have taken drawing lessons with Cathy Blake in Almonte.

My favourite things

Music: I play saxophone in a few bands. Occasionally sing in an improvising choir of Christine Duncan. Am interested in free jazz and contemporary music.

My story

Before moving to North America, I spent a lot of time in Amsterdam around the university, while teaching high school. During the summer I used to hitch-hike to Sweden and Norway to work as a lumberjack and tree planter.

I am a geologist and X-ray crystallographer. Saskia, my wife, was already a potter when we first met. I got into making pots when working on a thesis on clay minerals and talking with graduate pottery students at the University of Wisconsin about technical (geochemistry, mineralogy, physics) clay problems.

I dropped out of science and into pottery largely due to the Vietnam war and my involvement with the peace movement and was a member of the Cat’s Cradle Craft Cooperative in Madison WI.

After moving to Canada I worked as a ceramics technician and teacher at the Sheridan School of Design and worked on establishing the Harbourfront Crafts program in Toronto.

Worked for three years as a CUSO volunteer on a village pottery project in Thamaga, Botswana.

Returned to Canada and established Clayton Clay Works. Restored my heritage-designated 160 year-old house.

In the late 80’s I reinvented myself (mostly for financial reasons) and became a technical writer and sold my services to the IT industry for about 25 years.

Worked on a pottery project in Afghanistan in 2007-08: establishing the Turquoise Mountain School of Pottery in Kabul.

Now I am potting again, both in Clayton and at the Almonte Potters Guild. Because of my technical background I particularly enjoy teaching glaze chemistry classes,in addition to general pottery.

My dream

I don’t dream. Or maybe I always dream. I believe in cooperative action; the Crown and Pumpkin Tour is part of this.