Born in the Netherlands, Ester Strijbos went on a world trip after she finished with her studies at St Lucas in Boxtel (Graphic Design). She made her final move to Canada in 2001 to enjoy the beauty of nature and the vastness of space. A year later she was introduced to clay, and immediately realized it would make a huge impact on her life.
She met Les Manning at the Metchosin School of the Arts on Vancouver Island where she was enrolling in his “Applied Design - Ceramics” course. He encouraged her to attend the Haliburton School of The Arts in Ontario for a Ceramic Certificate course that would focus on developing her technical skills. During her four months of intense connection and education with the clay medium she decided she was going to be a ceramist.
Her home on Cortes Island, where she lives a rural life and is surrounded by the ocean, the forest and the silence in nature, she creates pieces that are heavily influenced by her European background. The decoration is minimal as are the glazes. They appear to be connected to the simplicity of her lifestyle and the natural forms that are in her immediate environment. Both functional and non functional, her beautiful pieces demonstrate her love for the clay and invite you to touch and hold them.
“Creating a ceramic form that plays with the shadows that the curves in a piece unfold is what I love. The environment around me is very important. Natural colors, organic looks, smooth surfaces and strange curves that are balanced are what I am drawn to. I am driven to create out of true love for throwing and an appreciation for the versatility of clay and the freedom it allows.”
“The strong will of clay and the challenge it brings with it makes it a perfect medium for me to work with. Because of the changing shapes that results from my touch and the intriguing beauty of the material I feel that there is a lifetime of possibilities waiting for me to discover.”