Poole Room

My Work, My Way

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People have been asking me if I am retired. Nope. Never.

This is what my friend Shelagh Rogers had to say about my retirement…

What a ride it’s been. You are an amazing artist with the best support team in the world.

In your art, you have provoked in the most mischievous and strongest terms.

You have extended ancient processes and forms and brought them into the 20th and 21st centuries. And you have created such beauty.Shelagh Rogers

So retire. No. Making Art yes, and writing yes. Playing pool yes.

For the past two and a half years, I have been working on a book. It is a history of 50 years as a studio potter. My work, my way. My intention is to use this history as encouragement for young aspiring potters. It will be on-line and free at my website, and we are working out the details on printing hard copies for those that love to have something in their hands. All this should happen soon, and I will let you know when it is up and running.

When I get this finished, I will once again head into the studio and make some new work. I will let you know when new pieces are in our gallery. Think fall. This is retirement!

Kind thoughts,


Comments 6

  1. Harlan… I am looking forward to seeing your new work … and you… and your wife of course !!!

  2. Hi Harlan…..i am very excited to hear about this book and will definitely wait for it to come out in hard cover! you have quietly been an inspiration to me for a long time, i’ve been a production potter for almost 30 years now. Actually I have a very funny memory of you! Long long time ago we all (OPA folks) were invited to Rideau Hall in Ottawa when Jan Phalan won the place setting award…..i was with my husband at the time (Andrew Gibson) and we were all dressed up to the 9’s….dark suits and bow ties for the guys and we women wore some beautiful dresses! Andrew and i were talking to you, and we both commented on how amazing you looked all cleaned up…..you put that impish look on your face and said “ah yes, but there is clay on my body underneath!” we laughed …. anyway, just wanted to say how much i appreciate your work and commitment to the pottery world. Glad to hear you haven’t ‘retired’ just doing your work your way! cheers, Linda

  3. Harlan,

    This is exciting news! I can’t wait to read your book, whether online, or in my hands. I love the title too! The trick is – that if you get to do your work, your way, it doesn’t feel like work.


    Urn Song Pottery
    Halifax, Nova Scotia

  4. I have 1 piece of Harlan’s. An outstanding vase given as a parting gift. 33 years later, still a magnificent treasure.
    Tilly Nelson.

  5. I first became aware of you work seeing same at a workshop in Calgary in 1980. Was wonderful. My dad, who was a sign painter/designer/commercial artist said about retirement; “If you love what you are doing you are retired.” People who count the days until they retire have hated getting up every morning and going to work. I have loved getting up everyday and loving what I’ve done everyday of my working career. Hasn’t been work. More like playing when I was a kid. So true for me. I am a studio potter in Great Falls, Montana USA, for 49 years and feel like I haven’t gotten started yet.

  6. I feel the same way. It took Covid to get me away from teaching pottery (which I love) and back full time in the studio. And I am having SO MUCF FUN!
    I understand you entirely, Harlan. Retire? Not if I can help It!

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