Interiors and Exteriors
Art and Design
Objects and Antiquities

Wednesday, February 13


We visited Ken Gangbar at his studio last week in the middle of the blizzard.  The kiln was going and the tea was hot as we enjoyed the stories that Ken told us of the winding path that brought him to ceramics.  Gangbar creates epic yet subtle installation and sculptural work rooted in the shapes and forces of nature.  The themes that run through his life are repeated in his work: acting on intuition and a fearless willingness to try new things.  

With a youth rich in travel (through Canada World Youth) and outdoor adventuring in Algonquin Park, Gangbar originally studied international development and native studies, with an eye to social work.  However, something in his mother's abandoned ceramic studio called him to clay. After studying at Sheridan, and moving studios twice, Gangbar worked at the studio used by remaining members of the Five Potters, a Toronto based ceramic group most active in the 60s and 70s. He credits member Mayta Markson as an inspiration for her skill and longevity in the craft (Our tea came from her pot and mugs).   When he moved his studio to Queen and the DVP and then again to the current Stockyards location, Gangbar brought with him fixtures from this pottery collective, reminders of their history.

After years of producing functional pieces, Gangbar was moved to create abstract sculptural work, playing and experimenting with the textures and moods of clay, the rhythms of repetition and the transcendence of scale.  

Gangbar is currently working on a 60' long wall installation for the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong.

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