Live-here-now artist derives inspiration from the sea - Dec. 18, 2013
Marina Vern, shown here with one of her signature pottery pieces - a work that involves an ocean-inspired green-blue glaze, and fish-net overlay - has found a home on Grand Manan, where she not only makes pottery, but teaches popular courses that pass on her passion for working in clay to others.
On a busy Saturday afternoon, Marina Vern flits about a table of pottery, barely able to take a break between visitors who pause to launch a conversation.
The chatter that ensues is that easy, casual banter of people who have known each other for some time – yet there is a distinct Francophone lilt to Vern’s voice as she responds.
Her accent speaks of her Montreal roots, but her joy stems from having found her home on Grand Manan.
She’s been asked, more than a few times, how she went from the bustle of one of Canada’s largest metropolitan environments to the tranquility of Grand Manan.
“I always have the same answer: it was destiny, I think,” said Vern. “I wanted to go into a community where everybody knows each other, and supports each other.”
Former neighbours from St. George urged her to visit the area, and she admits she was taken from the outset.
“We bought, the first day we came, the house,” she said.
She is a potter by trade (she quickly points out that amongst those who craft from clay, the title of potter usually only comes after many decades, while she has only been throwing items from clay for 12), her works are now well known on the island.
She has painted all her life, and, in search of some artistic venue, tried working with wood, as a carver, but that didn’t fulfill her artistic desire to be involved in the entire creative process.
Pottery, however, served that function.
“I like to do something from the beginning,” she said, stating that her first blush with pottery triggered an instant love.
She has since found a niche on the island.
“People love it, and I love to teach people,” she said.
Her signature work is a green-hued glaze, with a twist of marine tones, all bearing a fish-net pattern. The pattern is derived from actual nets, and the colours of her glaze reflect the inspiration she gains from the colours of the fickle Bay of Fundy that encircles her island home.
“I have already, several collectors who collect the sets,” she said.
While her finished works are popular, so too are her classes, which are frequently booked to capacity.
“When you are creating, it is like creating children. When you have a pottery class, it’s like having grandchildren,” she said, with a wide grin.
Her studio is open all year long, and during summer months, her works are on display at the Grand Manan market at North Head, held Saturday mornings.
For more, see the website at wisperon.etsy.com or call (506)-662-3098.