4031 Wren Rd,
Denman Island, BC, V0R 1T0
phone: 250-335-2409
hutchens@telus.nete-mail: hutchens@telus.net
website: gordonhutchens.com

Coming exhibitions and workshops

Gordon at Work

Gordon Hutchens' studio is nestled in 19 wooded acres in the secluded north end of Denman Island, British Columbia, a 5 minute drive from the ferry landing. For nearly 30 years Gordon has operated his extensive studio here while exhibiting across Canada, from Halifax, Montreal and Toronto to Vancouver & Victoria. He has had over 25 one-man shows and over 70 group exhibitions across Canada and the U.S., with 3 major exhibitions in Japan. Gordon has also taught courses and workshops for many colleges and potter's guilds. His works and articles have been published in various ceramics magazines and books. He is the author/host of 4 videos: Beginning Raku, Variations on Raku and two videos on Salt and Soda Firing.

Permanent collections include the Bronfman Family's "Claridge Collection" and the Canadian Museum of Civilization.

Gordon first became intrigued with pottery at the age of 14 during a visit to Japan, watching potters at work and seeing the revered position of pottery in a culture.

"This is truly a noble profession."

Gordon received an honours degree in Fine Arts from the University of Illinois majoring in Ceramics (Clay and Glass Blowing). Three semesters of glaze & clay chemistry combined with working through school as the ceramics laboratory assistant gives him an unusually strong technical background.

Gordon's work is well known for the depth and diversity of his glazes and the strength and refinement of his forms.

He maintains a well stocked showroom at his studio with pieces in all price ranges, from functional ware to museum quality pieces. Gordon formulates and blends all his own clay bodies using many different clays from across North America, and bases his porcelain body on a high quality kaolin from England. Local materials are also utilized. Clay from his own property is high in iron and is used in earthenware bodies and in oil spot glazes and metallic luster glazes. Seaweed from the beach is used in salt/sagger firings. Local wood ash is another major glaze ingredient.

Gordon Hutchens produces a variety of work from sculptured to functional, and utilizes an extremely broad range of techniques. Works in his showroom include:

Raku Salt Glaze Stoneware Crystalline Porcelain
Earthenware Denman Lustre Woodfiring


Example of Raku potAnother Raku example

a technique originating in Japan in the 16th Century, closely associated with Zen Buddhism and the tea ceremony. In its North American variations, the pieces are removed from the kiln at the peak of the firing while the glazes are still molten, and the placed in a sealed container with straw and sawdust to cool. This smoky atmosphere, combined with copper and silver in Gordon's glazes, create lustrous and iridescent surfaces. Since the clay is very porous to help withstand the tremendous heat shock, it is not suitable for holding water.

Pictured above, to the left & the right, are two examples of Raku pots. Just click on either one to see a larger, full-colour version. Use the back arrow on your browser to return here.

Salt Glaze Stoneware

Salt glaze potSalt glaze pot

a technique of Medieval European origin, where salt or soda ash is thrown into the kiln at around 2300°F. The sodium combines with the vitrified clay to form an orange-peel textured glaze, with colours from the natural clay or coloured clay slips.

Pictured above, to the left & the right, are two examples of Salt Glaze pots. Just click on either one to see a larger, full-colour version. Use the back arrow on your browser to return here.

Crystalline Glazed Porcelain

a series of porcelain pots with a special crystalline glaze type that Gordon has been developing for about nine years, just now bringing them into production. This complicated technique emulates the natural formation of crystals in rock cooling deep in the earth, though the patterns create many other natural images. The glaze, containing a high % of zinc along with metallic colourants, such as titanium, copper, cobalt, nickel, silver and gold, grows natural, spontaneous crystal patterns impossible to duplicate.

Crystalline Glazed Porcelain Gallery

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Reduction Fired Earthenware


a low temperature firing related to the French, Art Nouveau ceramics of the late 1800's. The glaze has some of the depth and complexity of high fire ware combined with rich colours and lustrous surfaces available at lower temperatures. This is one of the areas where pottery is closely related to Alchemy, both aesthetically and historically.

Pictured above, to the right, is an example of Reduction Fired Earthenware. Click on picture for a larger version. Click here for detail. Use the back arrow on your browser to return here.

Denman Lustre


This glaze looks similar to some raku glazes but is, in fact, a totally different technique that I have developed over many years of experimentation. My goal was to create a piece that looks as though it could be very ancient and at the same time very comtemporary -- timeless.

The form is made of a totally vitreous, water-tight porcelain. After an initial bisque firing, the piece is covered in a glaze that contains about 40% high metal content clay from my property on Denman Island and fired to cone 10 (2350F,1300C). When cooled, accents are brushed on with a preparation of gold chloride and resin and refired to fuse the gold to the surface. Different metallic salts are used during this firing to create "interference colours", a complex surface that bounces light rays in opposite directions simultaneously, creating a velvety iridescence like that used on Art Nouveau blown glass.

Because of the high metallic content in this glaze, it is for decorative, not food use. The glaze is durable and can be washed with warm soapy water and a soft cloth or with lacquer thinner.


Hutchens' Anagama Woodfiring Kiln is the fourth Tozan kiln in the world. Each completed pot tells its own story ~ caressed by flame & woodash flowing together through the pots stacked in the chamber.

Looking inside the Anagama Kiln during its first firing.
To see the pots resulting from the woodfiring process, click on the Anagama Kiln

"I'm attracted to variable glazes where subtle differences in the action of the flame can make a dramatic difference in the character of the glaze ~ where fire tells a story. I get excited by the power of heat, the way fire brings about the transformation, the metamorphosis of elements I've combined into something new.

For me the most important thing is finding balance, not just physical balance, but the balance between control and spontaneity, traditional and contemporary, technique and inspiration.

Life on Denman Island gives me both the solitude and the rich aesthetic stimulation to be creative."

Links to pages featuring the work of Gordon Hutchens

Tara Productions ~ video workshops for potters

Variations on Raku ~ a video featuring Gordon Hutchens

Beginning Raku ~ a video featuring Gordon Hutchens

Salt-Soda Firing ~ a video featuring Gordon Hutchens

Denman Island's whereabouts and features

gero@mars.ark.com Website by Roberta