Sweet Earth Ceramics

Story by Sarah Kerton, Photos by Kristen Pouru

Lured back to Northwestern Ontario where she grew up, Lara Hollway has recently planted her roots in Thunder Bay and gotten serious about sharing her craft with the world. Hollway is a mostly self-taught potter, and Sweet Earth Ceramics is how she finds her centre and spends her energy when she is not working in her other role as a counsellor.

The majority of Hollway’s beautiful stoneware is functional, although some is also sculptural. Playing with sculpture and adding sculptural elements to daily items are aspects of pottery that she finds the most exciting (besides opening the kiln—she has a hard time waiting for it to cool, and often burns her fingertips with impatience!) “Throwing on the wheel feels like a stillness time for me, where I am balancing beauty and chaos,” she says. “You have to be really aware of yourself and your body. When I am sculpting it feels more like a flow.”

Hollway’s interest in pottery started when she accompanied a friend to pottery classes in Toronto. It lit a spark in her that caught into wildfire and she soon wanted to have her own setup. Five years later she has returned to Northernwestern Ontario where her brother (Jonathan Hollway) recently started Corbett Creek Farm & Creative Centre with his partner (Aly Wood), and she has permanently installed her wheel and electric kiln in her own abode. She works in a simple sunlit room that overlooks her yard and has a tapestry of blue sky overhead. “I like to replace plastic and disposable things we use everyday with something that is functional and beautiful. I ask myself can I make it? Can it be functional? Can it be beautiful?”

Hollway’s pottery gelato bowls will be featured in the Summer BBQ boxes from Corbett Creek Farm. You can also find her pottery for sale at Hygge Loft, or at the upcoming Die Active Y-Art Sale on August 17.

For more information, visit sweetearthceramics.com.