Ceramic artist Jim Smith has been working out of his seaside studio in Chester, Nova Scotia since 1984. He is a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and studied at The Banff Centre School of Fine Arts. He has taught workshops across Canada and in the United States and has had his work included in over 80 exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. His work consistently appears in ceramic magazines and books with an international focus, and is included in many prestigious public and private collections including Toronto's Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art and The Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China.
An inducted member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts, Jim was awarded The QE II Commemorative Medal by the Canadian Government in recognition of distinguished career achievement and significant contribution to Canadian society. He had the honour of being a juror for Canada's highest award in fine craft, the Saidye Bronfman Award/Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. The Nova Scotia Desgner Crafts Council recently granted Jim 'Master Artisan' status. He has won numerous awards for his work including grants from the Province of Nova Scotia and The Canada Council for The Arts to undertake research on historical Italian ceramics at La Meridiana International Centre for Ceramics in Tuscany. Jim has given talks on his work internationally, including the Cheongju International Biennale of Fine Craft in Cheongju, South Korea. Jim has traveled extensively delving into the ceramic history of China, Mexico, Europe, Turkey, South Korea, and Morocco.
As a maker of functional ceramic objects intended for a domestic context, I draw cues from historical models that serve as a framework on which to build contemporary ideas regarding function and beauty. My work engages the history of ceramics and explores various cross-cultural influences that are a part of the evolution of contemporary ceramic practice.
The forming methods I utilize include a combination of thrown and altered, handbuilt, and molded work depending on the intention of the piece. I use a Nova Scotia red earthenware clay and seek to create rich, sensual surfaces by building up and drawing through layers of slip using the sgraffito technique, then applying numerous sulfates, stains and glazes.
In the context of the home, my work serves as an object of beauty and contemplation but also functions graciously in the serving of food or display of flowers. My intention is to provide a well considered contemporary object encoded with historical references that can offer an intellectual, visual, and sensual experience that enriches one's life.