Debbie and Grahame Wales moved to the Haliburton Highlands in 1976. They built a log home and studio overlooking LIttle Boshkung Lake. In their early years in the Highlands pottery was a hobby for them. In 1990 they constructed a large outdoor reduction-fired kiln and their delightful hobby became a full time business adventure. Grahame worked on the pottery business whenever the demands of being a stay-at-home dad would allow. Debbie continued working in the education system and contributing to the business on weekend and in the summer until she joined the business full-time in 2003. It became very apparent that their quaint little log studio and workshop needed more space. And so an addition was added to expand the work area and create a lovely new gallery.
The Wales make great studio partners in part because they have differing interests in terms of the types of pottery they do. Grahame loves to work at the wheel and produce functional pottery. He is very adept at throwing large quantities of clay while regaling any studio visitors with humorous anecdotes. He has become known locally as “the Hairy Potter”. Debbie, on the other hand, has branched out to create thrown and altered work, square and functional pieces and one-of-a-kind sculpted wall hangings that depict the beauty of the Haliburton Highlands. Their daughter Jenn as recently begun to follow in their footsteps and produce her own unique clay designs in the form of jewellery and mosaic wall plaques.
Earth and Fire Pottery has been a part of the Haliburton Highlands Studio Tour since 1992, just a few years after its inception. They have seen the tour develop and grow and have played an active part in its development. This year is the 25th anniversary of the Studio Tour and a special celebration is planned. Everyone is invited to the Opening of the Exhibition titled “Transitions”, which is an exhibition of the art of current and past Haliburton Highlands Studio Tour Artists. The opening reception takes place on Saturday May 5th from 2-4 pm. Come out and celebrate the work of these fine artists. For a further schedule of the activities that will occur during the show please visit the Rails End Gallery and Arts Centre Website.
Debbie, in conjunction with Rickie Woods, won the Bill Lambe Arts Alive Minden award for her passionate dedication to the arts. .