Penelope Connor learned to throw on the wheel from Jane Lambert in the late 1970’s. At that time, she was teaching primary school and living in downtown Toronto. She could not continue pottery classes as teaching and a growing family consumed her time.
After retirement, she discovered a studio that offered lessons just around the corner from home: it seemed like fate to take it up again. Penelope took lessons from Pauline Harmon at The Potter’s Studio and joined as a full-time member in 2007. Not only did this give her a chance to improve her skills on her own time, but because the studio is a co-operative, she learned all the important aspects of potting such as glaze-making, kiln-loading and Raku firing.
Penelope’s inspiration comes from nature and suggestions from her grandchildren. For example, she enjoyed making penguin ornaments after seeing a documentary on Antarctica. Her grandchildren have made use of their piggy banks and tea sets. Penelope is a casual birder (“twitcher”), so she also makes birdhouses using the specifications for different species. Studio members continue to inspire her as do workshops run by the Studio. Haliburton School for the Arts is also a wonderful teaching resource and she hopes to take advantage of this again: for her, the learning never ends.