Potter Shirley Phillips
I started mucking about in my Mom’s garden when I was a wee girl, making mud things out of the gooey black earth that squished through my little fingers and toes. It felt wonderful!
Then a brief pinch pot encounter in grade 11 introduced me to a luscious new earth….clay!
An introductory pottery session in a 2 year recreation program at Malaspina College in Nanaimo B.C., made me realize that I must have clay in my life. The next semester I took a pottery class with Byron Johnstad.
I am primarily self taught and attend workshops now and then. I have been very fortunate to have worked for some incredible potters on Denman Island, Gordon Hutchens for 7 years part time as his Studio Assistant. Bentley LeBaron for 1 and 1/2 years part time working and learning sculptural methods, and Janet Moe for a few months helping in her Studio.
I have had my own Studio, Lilac Sun Pottery at 3311 Denman Road, on the Denman Island ferry hill, since the year 2000.
I have had many part time jobs on Denman while raising our 3 children with my husband Del, and creating pottery, doing shows, sales and tours during that time as well.
Since the summer of 2018 I am a full time Potter in my Studio.
Where else you may see my work
I am also a working member of the Denman Craft Shop collective for the last 20 years and into the future.
I have been in many group shows on Denman Island, for the Pottery Tour or in other community Art Centre shows on Denman.
- I’ve been a featured Potter at The Potters Place in Courtenay.
- I’ve been in sales and shows for many years with the Comox Valley Potters Club.
- I had a piece displayed in a show at the Comox Valley Airport from Oct. 2019 until March 2020.
- I sell my Pottery in my Studio all year round and also at the Denman Craft Shop.
- I participate in The Denman Island Pottery Studio Tour every May long weekend and The Denman Island Studio Tour in July.
- For many years I have been in 3 Christmas Fairs, the Mid Island Potters Show and Sale in Parksville, The Qualicum Village Christmas Arts Faire, and The Denman Island Christmas Craft Fair.
Read the article published in the Islands Grapevine and on the VisitDenmanIsland.ca website in 2020.
July 2020: 20 years after realizing her dream, Shirley Phillips of Lilac Sun Pottery talks about how Denman Island nature inspires her art, her legendary local pottery mentors, how the pandemic affected her, gift ideas and what’s new in the studio as she re-opens.