Natalie Prevost

From as far back as I remember I loved playing in the mud and cow patties and with fire. The start of a future Raku and smoke fire artist started in a small French community called Casselman where most of our large extended family lived. My aunt; Patricia Smith who is a well know artist in the Ottawa area gave me a pencil and paper at the age of 8 and told me to go draw what I saw outside. I came back with the ugliest drawing of a tree and mushrooms (yuck) but I‘ve always enjoyed the look of wood and many years later my smoke fired pots were born. So I finally got to enjoy all the things I love all at once. (Mud, poop and Fire.)

In 1994 I started working for a potter in Cambridge and a couple of years later was working for another potter in the Waterloo area. I then went out on my own to start teaching others and selling my pots in other venues. I like learning by trial and error. Its taken me a couple of years of trying all kinds of things to get the results I wanted in my smoke firing. Different poops, salts, oxides and wood. So I go from one extreme to another; the smoke fired pots are rustic, experimental and unpredictable with explosions, cracks and no color. Then the dresses are dainty, elegant and delicate. Raku firing can have its ups and downs as well with cracking, explosions and awful color. I’ve picked two of the oldest ways of firing (there are many others) because that’s exciting to me to have the fire respond directly to the work.