The Legacy Project

Mary Fox Pottery- The Legacy Project

A lot of great ideas start with a dream, the Legacy Project is one of them. I have worked as a potter all my life earning my living from what I create with my hands. It is a challenge to earn a living as an artist, especially in the early years. When I was younger it was difficult to find places to rent that could accommodate a studio and a landlord willing to let you install a kiln. I always managed to find studio space but often they were dark basement studios, not inspiring creative spaces. I felt fortunate to have studio space but would dream of the day when I could own a house and have the studio/gallery of my dreams.

This is how my dream began.

Late one night I was chatting with my wife about the difficulties inherent in the young artist’s life when she said to me “What would have made things easier for you?” “Oh, that’s easy,”I replied,” a low cost, equipped studio where I could also sell what I was creating”. And then the conversation took off!

A few months later my wife died and I embarked on the beginnings of the Legacy Project, rebuilding our home. For years I had worked in the small garage attached to our house. I loved my little studio; it was the nicest space I had worked in to date. It was ground level, with Dutch doors that on nice days could be opened so I could look out onto the street. However it was small and very crowded with all the equipment and of course, the pots!  I was selling my work on a steady basis out of my studio but there wasn’t enough room to display all that I was making. I started to envision my dream studio, gallery and home, the idea of lifting my house slowly began to take form. I made a floor plan of what my ideal studio would look like with the Legacy Project in mind and in August, 2011 the house was lifted and construction began.

Mary Fox Pottery being built from the bones of the old house. The beginning of the Legacy Project.

Now, years later, when you walk in the front door you enter into a beautiful gallery. In the gallery you can see through to the creation room and are welcome to go in and explore further. Then to one side is the entrance to the old studio which has now become the Kiln Room.

That is the part of the house that is open to the public. Upstairs has been designed as an open plan kitchen/living room with lots of built in shelves to display the Mary Fox Collection. There is also a photography room with more shelving to display work and a desk area. Everything a potter needs to work and document the work is on site.

The final floor is the loft, a beautiful space where I can retreat to at the end of a long day. This is the house that I built with the Legacy Project and the rest of my working years in mind.

What is the Legacy Project?

I envision, after my passing, an Artist Residency program run through Mary Fox Pottery with the support of the Town of Ladysmith. A ceramic artist under the age of 30 could apply for a 2 year residency with an option of staying on for a 3d year. The Legacy Project would be responsible for maintaining the building, grounds, equipment, taxes and insurance. The resident artist would be responsible for their supplies, utility costs, and ensuring that the Pottery is open to the public Tuesday – Saturday from 11-5. They would be expected to maintain the gallery, creation room and house in a respectful manner. There would be an appointed guardian to watch over the pottery to ensure that all is well.

I see the Legacy Project as a chance for a young artist to have the time and space to be able to develop their skills and live the life of a studio potter. They could sell the work they produce through the gallery and by the end of their residency they should know whether the life of a studio potter is for them. If it is, hopefully they will have been able to save enough to go on and start a pottery of their own.

How can you help with this endeavor?

We will be setting up a (foundation)? That you can donate to and we ask that you consider leaving a percentage of your estate to the Legacy Project. It is important that we raise enough funds to back this well into the future and thank you for considering being a part of this exciting and important project to help young potters on their creative path.

Mary Fox Pottery today






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