“A jewel in the crown of London.” That’s how potter Tim Wilkinson visualizes London Clay Art Centre (LCAC). He adds, “It’s a place that truly gave me purpose and I’ve never looked back.” Tim has lived an exciting life, one in which he worked as a lifeguard, horse trainer, and interior designer. He is also a food connoisseur, avid painter, writer and poet who enjoys sharing the intricate trappings of his mind. Born and raised in Toronto, Tim had a special affinity for self-expression. As a child, he was enrolled in art classes and as a teenager, he attended a ceramics workshop. He then studied at Ryerson University and later opened his own interior design business. A believer in being true to oneself, Tim’s strength wasn’t shattered when he discovered five years ago that a chronic illness had infiltrated his body. He recalled, “I figured if I may only have a short time left, then I might as well go out pursuing a new goal!” Driven by a relentless desire to accomplish as much as he can, Tim began searching for meaningful pursuits. As art had always presented him with a comfortable retreat from the busy world, Tim knew he had struck gold with LCAC. His first meeting with some of its members was terrific. Says Tim, “They welcomed me with open arms. They were warm, loving, accepting and very open with giving information.” For Tim, the most important is that LCAC’s community recognized his passion and potential. “They were so encouraging. They heard my story and granted me an opportunity to learn, be seen and heard.”
The budding potter had a clear vision for his future accomplishments and worked in their pursuit. Ceramics was particularly intriguing to him and Tim eventually learned to not only create incredible pieces, but also to teach. It was his way of giving back to LCAC and saying “thank you for reigniting my spark.” For Tim, the possibilities are infinite with clay. “You can just do so much with this flexible material. I like the functional aspect, including bowls, vessels with lids, vases and applying artistry to them as well.” He describes his aesthetic as contemporary, clean, simple and driven by form. Admitting it was a challenge learning to throw on the potter’s wheel, Tim has relished his time at LCAC and still derives knowledge with each creation. Grateful for the studio space and new found friends, Tim highly recommends joining LCAC. “The fellowship here is incomparable. It’s a community of people who genuinely care. There’s always a smile to be found, and a kind, uplifting word to reassure you that things will be just fine. I now have the ability to express myself artistically in any direction, with the support of gifted artisans who repeatedly offer assistance. I belong.” Tim’s involvement with LCAC has triggered a vast and noticeable change within him. Health wise, he has drastically improved and now envisions the future with positivity. His goals include creating larger pieces, making his own glazes, experimenting with different firing methods and perfecting his throwing technique. According to Tim, there is a lot of untapped potential at LCAC and working there provides “much more than just a mood booster”. He adds, “Creativity can be unleashed and goals can be achieved.” Tim is testament to LCAC’s power to reinvigorate the soul!
CLAYWORX: CERAMIC ARTS LEARNING CENTRE FOrmerly LONDON POTTERS GUILD AND LONDON CLAY ART CENTRE
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