Mary Borgstrom

Last updated
Mary Borgstrom
Born(1916-05-18)May 18, 1916 [1]
DiedApril 3, 2019(2019-04-03) (aged 102)
Nationality Canadian
EducationSelf taught
Known for Pottery
AwardsThe Canadian Guild of Crafts Quebec, Award of Excellence

Mary Borgstrom (May 18, 1916 – April 3, 2019) was a Canadian potter, ceramist, and artist who specialized in primitive techniques. [2] [3] [4] She was presented with the "Award of Excellence" by the Canadian Guild of Crafts in Quebec.

Pottery craft of making objects from clay

Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery. The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products." In archaeology, especially of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" often means vessels only, and figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious.



Borgstrom was born in Saskatchewan in 1916, and later moved to Provost, Alberta. [5]

Saskatchewan Province of Canada

Saskatchewan is a prairie and boreal province in western Canada, the only province without a natural border. It has an area of 651,900 square kilometres (251,700 sq mi), nearly 10 percent of which is fresh water, composed mostly of rivers, reservoirs, and the province's 100,000 lakes.

Provost, Alberta Town in Alberta, Canada

Provost is a town in central Alberta, Canada. It is located at the junction of Highway 13 and Highway 899, 19 km (12 mi) west of the Alberta-Saskatchewan border. It was originally named "Lakeview" but renamed by the Canadian Pacific Railway Land Department in 1907; the first train to the town was in 1910.

In Edmonton, Alberta in the mid 1960s, she attended a workshop on primitive pottery offered by the ceramist Hal Riegger, getting exposed to techniques of the craft. Shortly thereafter in the late 1960s and early 1970s, she "emerged as one of the most unique ceramic talents in Alberta". [2] [3] Her artwork was shown world-wide, and appeared in numerous collections and exhibitions. [3] [6]

Alberta Province of Canada

Alberta is a western province of Canada. With an estimated population of 4,067,175 as of 2016 census, it is Canada's fourth most populous province and the most populous of Canada's three prairie provinces. Its area is about 660,000 square kilometres (250,000 sq mi). Alberta and its neighbour Saskatchewan were districts of the Northwest Territories until they were established as provinces on September 1, 1905. The premier has been Rachel Notley since May 2015.

I gathered all my own clay. Just anywhere. But you get so you know that all clay isn't equal. [Some has good sand] in it that you can use. But there's also sand that the pottery won't hold together. And you get so you know your clay; you know your soil. [3]

Mary Borgstrom

In 1976 Borgstrom was invited to participate in the Arts and Culture program in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal. [3]

1976 Summer Olympics Games of the XXI Olympiad, held in Montréal in 1976

The 1976 Summer Olympics, officially called the Games of the XXI Olympiad, was an international multi-sport event in Montreal, Quebec, in 1976, and the first Olympic Games held in Canada.

Montreal City in Quebec, Canada

Montreal is the most populous municipality in the Canadian province of Quebec and the second-most populous municipality in Canada. Originally called Ville-Marie, or "City of Mary", it is named after Mount Royal, the triple-peaked hill in the heart of the city. The city is centred on the Island of Montreal, which took its name from the same source as the city, and a few much smaller peripheral islands, the largest of which is Île Bizard. It has a distinct four-season continental climate with warm to hot summers and cold, snowy winters.

Her house in Provost, Alberta was recently sold, and has been the subject of a series of Videos on YouTube ("The Potters House"). [7] A wealth of her pottery has been discovered in the process, and will be auctioned off in April 2019 by Kastner Auctions in Edmonton, Alberta, with half the proceeds to going back to her estate. [8]

Mary Borgstrom passed away on April 3, 2019 at the age of 102 at the Provost Health Centre in Provost, Alberta.

Open, direct firing suits my farm and country background, my temperament and my pocket book. An intimate love affair with the great out doors and an insatiable curiosity about Mother Earth makes the search for local clays not only a challenge but an adventure of sheer pleasure and unexplainable fascination. And so -- my involvement in Primitive Pottery is about as total as is possible, almost to the exclusion of all else. Almost! An overly fertile mind -- an explosion of ideas within one Life Span and Time holding a Stop Watch on the impossible dream. There has to be another world -- another lifetime. [8]

Mary Borgstrom

Reviews and awards

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  1. "Obituary: Mary Borgstrom". Gregory's Funeral Home. April 4, 2019. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  2. 1 2 Townshend, N. (2005). A History of Art in Alberta, 1905-1970. Calgary: Bayeux. ISBN   978-1-896209-71-5 . Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Curiosity Inc. (February 20, 2019). "Mary Borgstrom - Potter". YouTube. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  4. "Large Vase". Collections – AFA Virtual Museum . Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  5. "Artist Database: Artists: Borgstrom, Mary". Canadian Women Artists Initiative. October 27, 1971. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  6. "Works of Mary Borgstrom". AFA Virtual Museum. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  7. Curiosity Inc. (January 13, 2019). "The Potters House, Part 1". YouTube. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  8. 1 2 Curiosity Inc. (April 5, 2019). "Mary Borgstrom Collection, April Sale Preview". YouTube. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  9. Lewenstein, Eileen (1974). New Ceramics. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold. ISBN   978-0-442-21647-4. OCLC   902726.