Take a walk along Water Street in Fenelon Falls – it follows the canal past Lock 34 to the boat launch at the mouth of Cameron Lake. Look to your right and you might see the doors of the Two Fishes Pottery Studio open, and the artists, Tim and Linda Kieley, hard at work.
It has been a long journey back to the potter’s wheel; they met at the Nova Scotia College of Art, where Tim was majoring in print-making and Linda was majoring in painting. They had both dabbled in pottery in high school and Linda pursued it in college but then, as she says, “Life got in the way, and we didn’t get back to it for 25 years.”
Then, the stars aligned – they moved to Fenelon Falls, and five years ago seized the opportunity to purchase a potter’s wheel and equipment. Getting back into the groove after 25 years was by trial and error, but Linda says working outside the constraints of a classroom setting allowed them to develop their own style.
Among their many creations has emerged a pine tree/landscape motif which has become their trademark. Dinnerware, serving dishes and miscellaneous pieces are available in this constantly evolving signature pattern. As with all their creations, each piece is individually created from start to finish, and the slight variations lend authenticity to each final product.
Recently the Kieleys have embraced a new form, called “sgraffito”, which means “to scratch” in Italian, and involves a process of applying a layer of coloured “slip” over a leather-hard piece of pottery and then scratching away the slip to expose the white clay underneath. These one-of-a-kind creations draw their inspiration from their travels (most recently to Africa) and allow the artists to create more complicated designs.
Besides selling from their studio, their work is available around the corner on May Street at The Barn & Bunkie, as well as in Gravenhurst and Severn Bridge at the Pioneer Handcraft Furniture locations.
Two Fishes has also lent its expertise to Maryboro Lodge: The Fenelon Museum by creating pottery shards for the kids’ archaeological dig, as well as creating reproduction jugs and vases for display in the museum.
“Pottery is the canvas for our art,” Linda explains, and the joy derived from their chosen medium is apparent in every piece they produce.
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