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From Farmhouse to Flourishing Artist

Updated: Mar 17

Loretta Puckrin's Enduring Creative Journey Loretta's artistic path began pragmatically, not romantically. Newly married in the early 1970s, a move to a rural property presented an unexpected opportunity – a forgotten kiln. This sparked a curiosity about ceramics, leading Loretta and her husband to acquire a potter's wheel. Their home became a dedicated workspace, with the wheel adapting to various locations before claiming its own dedicated space.




Their focus shifted to production, with their creations finding a ready market at farmers' markets and within their social network. Functional pieces often doubled as cherished keepsakes, a testament to the couple's skill and artistic vision.

A relocation to Lake Cowichan opened a new creative chapter. The bustling Honeymoon Bay market saw a refined division of labor. Loretta's husband focused on shaping the clay, while she honed her glazing expertise. Experimentation led to their signature technique, a distinctive interplay of form and resist decals.

Local discovery played a role in their work. Unearthed Malahat clay, unsuitable for most pottery, revealed its potential as a unique deep chocolate glaze when used by Loretta and her husband. This innovative approach became a hallmark of their work.

Life's vicissitudes reshaped Loretta's artistic direction. After her husband's passing, she completed his final, ambitious piece, only to have it succumb to the delicate firing process. However, Loretta channeled her grief into her other artistic passion – painting. Using a specialized technique, she transformed the fractured vessel into a new piece that commemorates their shared creative journey.

A physical setback forced a further adaptation. Unable to operate the potter's wheel, Loretta found a new creative outlet in collaboration with Rosemary Danaher, focusing on hand building techniques. Her latest work, a striking 12-inch vase, exemplifies her continued artistic exploration.

Beyond ceramics, Loretta is a dedicated watercolorist, having shared her passion with island residents since 2011. In response to popular demand, a 2nd series of her watercolour classes kicks off mid March. This is merely one facet of her artistic repertoire, which encompasses pastels, acrylics, oils, and encaustic art. Additionally, her basement studio serves as a workshop for her ongoing exploration with woodworking.

Loretta's artistic journey is a compelling narrative of adaptation and perseverance. From embracing unexpected opportunities to forging new creative paths after setbacks, she exemplifies the enduring human desire for artistic expression. Her work – from functional pottery to vibrant watercolors – reflects her dedication, resourcefulness, and the transformative power of art. Loretta will be instructing Faux Stained Glass on April 20th. Get your tickets here! To view Loretta's studio of works, please email: loretta@cowichanlakeartsandculture.org Author: Irene Elliott

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