Last year, Denman Island lost one of its long-time potters and pottery studio tour participant, Marjo Van Tooren. She had planned to be on the 2020 Denman Island Pottery Studio Tour, when it was cancelled due to the pandemic.
Marjo and her late husband, Manfred, Rupp, were the first full-time, studio potters to set up shop on Denman. In the early 1970s they welcomed an influx of eager potters to the island. They shared advice, clay, glazes, and the only large, working kiln at the time.
Working with clay was always been about having fun for this artist who shared her expertise as a teacher – and studio space – with both children and adults on the island over decades.
Her work was eclectic, experimental and uniquely her own. Her studio was called, “Down to Earth,” as indeed she was. Her sisters and brothers in craft miss her eccentricity, her “out-of-the-box” thinking, and her exuberant love of life. She is missed.