Get to know one of our talented potters, Cathy Lombard.  Her ceramic studio and gallery is nestled in the most protected area of the Oak Ridge Moraine, just north of Toronto. Her work is infused with the natural world that surrounds and inspires her. 

How did you get started with pottery?

I graduated from the Design Dept at OCAD UNIVERSITY back in the day, when it was Ontario College of Art.  Back then, Ceramics was a full blown department. I started out taking Environmental Design but with my discovery of ceramics I changed pun intended 😉

What inspires you?

What: Nature, natural forms and colours but also design trends and architecture

Who: Currently on Instagram Justin Rothshank,, Sara Pike, Ron Philbeck, Patrick LeBlond, Kajsa Leijstrom, Akira Satake 

My favourite Canadian potters are Robin Hopper and  Kayo O'Young

Historical faves are Maria Martinez, Bernard Palissy and Clarice Cliff

What is one of the biggest challenges you’ve faced with selling your pottery?

Lately it has been the lack of opportunity for folks to touch my work.....the fault of the dreaded "C"

What advice would you give to a new potter?

You don't have to take a history class but get yourself some books full of pictures of historical ceramics. Look for styles/movements/genres that you love and find a way to incorporate what you love about it, into your work.

What do you miss the most about in person markets?

Clearing my shelves so that I can make more pots!

Were you selling online before COVID?  If not, how did you pivot?

Only to folks who contacted me directly through social media. Pivot? Not sure I have.....but I've been lucky enough to have local shops who continue to order from me.

What is your favourite piece to make?

I love the challenge of making a beautiful and functional teapot but nothing compares to the feeling of throwing a really big bowl...very zen.

What is your favourite piece in your own pottery collection that was made by another potter?

I love to collect other potters cups and mugs but I admit that I have broken many. My fave that is still intact is a small tumbler by Patrick LeBlond. But I do lust after his chargers!

Why did you decide to join The Northern Kiln?

The beauty of not having to maintain my own website...thank you Rhiane.

April 20, 2021 — Rhiane Heslop