Fraser: Take your turn at the (pottery) wheel |

Fraser: Take your turn at the (pottery) wheel

Over the years, Tracie and Dave Maddox have learned a lot about clay.

In order to be a good potter, they say, you must first understand that clay has a mind of its own. It is a free-form medium.

To be a good potter, you have to hold on and let go at the same time.

Clay’s versatility is what keeps the couple’s passion alive for the medium and what keeps them passing that passion along to their pottery students through the Fraser Recreation District.

“There’s so many ways you can go with clay,” Dave said. “It’s a fun way to express yourself.”

The teachers, who were once students of artist and sculptor Patty Alander are offering pottery classes starting next Thursday for a five-week session in Fraser for adults age 18 and older.

Alander, who taught pottery through the rec district for about seven years, said when she started the class was in a meeting room in the town hall and that “Fraser Rec’s been incredible on improving the program.” She also said each teacher and the community have been great about donating to the classes.

When Alander decided it was time to pass on the torch, she turned to the Maddoxes, who were her best students.

“We said we’d give it a try,” said Tracie, who added that it was Dave who helped first nurture her passion for creativity with clay. He had taken pottery classes after he graduated from college and looked into it after he and Tracie moved up to the Fraser Valley. He signed up with Fraser Rec. and found a great teacher in Alander.

He said it was a huge compliment that Alander asked them to take over the class.

The upcoming Fraser Rec classes will provide a variety of pottery skills. Skills include throwing on a pottery wheel, hand forming techniques, tool usage, glazing and decoration skills.

Tracie focuses mostly on leading participants through the hand-building skills, where she feels “you can do anything … platters, bowls, sculpt figurines” and said they use clay that can be fired to be functional (washed in a dishwasher).

Dave, as the more experienced potter, teaches wheel skills.

Together, Dave and Tracie offer well-rounded exploration of the world of pottery.

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