From Friday May 25 to Sunday the 27th the Mississippi Valley Textile Museum is hosting ‘Agua’, an exhibition by three outstanding Cuban and four well-known area potters.

The show opens with a vernissage from 6 to 8 pm on Friday, while the pieces will also be on display both Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm

The show has been organized by Saskia Praamsma, manager of the Almonte Potters Guild.

Marie-Pierre Drolet, Quebec, Canada
Through visual and tactile experiences, Drolet connects the viewer or user with the forces that exist in matter and with the alchemy at work during the creation of ceramics.  Clay, water, fire, glazes, and air interact to create microcosms where elements become tangible and the power of cosmos, the ocean, the volcano, and even vegetation can be transmitted to the public in a cup or sculpture.

Marie-Pierre learned ceramics from her father, Claude Drolet. After studying art, she perfected her skills and attended a seminar at Alfred University (NY) given by Korean Master Kang Hyo-Lee. Her sculptural exploration was developed during  artist-in-residence programs at the Farrellton place for artists (2017) and at the Scott Fairview House (2018). She has received many grants and awards from the MAMROT, the CALQ , the City Of Gatineau, and is a member of the Conseil des métiers d’arts du Québec.

Denise Fournier, Quebec, Canada

Fournier’s unique ceramic works celebrate food, combining the ephemeral art of cooking with the permanence of clay. Some forms are shaped expressly to serve a particular dish or integrate recycled materials. The fusion of rich and diversified enamels is key to the final expression of the work. Her “cooking methods” include raku, smoke, reduction, or oxidation.

Denise learned ceramics at the Cultural Center in Timmins, Ontario and trained with masters at Alfred University (NY) and Haliburton College of Arts and Design. She has a studio-boutique in Lochaber in Petite-Nation (QC).

Sandra Navarro, Camagüey ,Cuba

Navarro is a trained engineer and has been making ceramics since 1996. She has participated in several collective projects and is a member of the Cuban Association of Artists and Craftsmen.
Her work integrates various industrial materials a process in which futuristic animals are born, a marriage of the mechanical universe to their bodily architecture.

Coki Santander, Trinidad, Cuba
Neydis Mesa (Coki) Santander  has worked with clay since she was a little girl. She is now the only woman in her family working on pottery. When she was five, her grandfather taught her to mold clay on a tiny potter’s wheel that her father designed exclusively for her.

In her workshop, La Casita del Barro, she specializes in pottery murals in relief, hand-polished with metallic oxides, plates decorated with pre-Columbian designs, reproductions of the façades and streets of Trinidad, and some unique utilitarian and decorative objects.

Coki is a member of the Cuban Association of Craftsmen and Artists. Her creations are shown and sold through galleries in Trinidad. Some of her masterpieces are included in private collections in Cuba and the rest of the world. She has participated in international events such as The Milan Fair in Italy and The Wind Festival in Holstebro, Denmark.

Antonio Gómez Santiago, Cuba
Gomez graduated from the Professional Academy of Plastic Arts of Trinidad, Cuba and has a Bachelor of Sociocultural Studies from the Central University of Las Villas, Cuba. He is a professor of visual arts and a graphic designer.

His work deals with issues related to identity and self-recognition, as well as the processes of transculturation from an animistic stance and an anthropological approach.

Sietze Praamsma, Clayton, Ontario, Canada

Sietze is primarily a functional potter with a professional background in geochemistry and mineralogy. Self-taught, he worked as a technician for Don Reitz in Madison, Wisconsin and for Angela Fina at the Sheridan School of Design in Ontario. He played a substantial role in the establishment of the Harbourfront Craft Studios in Toronto and also worked on pottery projects in Thamaga, Botswana and Kabul, Afghanistan. In Mississippi Mills, Ontario he maintains a studio (Clayton Clay Works), teaches at the Almonte Potters Guild, and is a long-time participant in the Crown and Pumpkin Studio Tour.

Besides producing utilitarian ware, he also enjoys expressing himself through platters formed by means of accidental and largely uncontrolled processes.


Saskia Praamsma 

Saskia began working with clay when she was six. Her mother was a potter and had an attic studio overlooking the rooftops and chimneys of Amsterdam. She later studied with Don Reitz at the University of Wisconsin, USA. Saskia worked with her husband, Sietze, at pottery projects in Thamaga, Botswana and Kabul, Afghanistan. She  worked as technician and instructor in the pottery studio of Dovercourt Recreation Centre in Ottawa and currently works at the Almonte Potters Guild as manager and instructor.

She love smearing, pinching and rolling clay. She loves its soothing feel as she puts one coil on top of the other, impressing different textures in it.