Debra Olsen was born in the Canadian Prairies, has wandered in the Rockies, played in our Canadian waters, and recently, spent a couple of years, roaming the Maritime Provinces. In her travels, Olsen has discovered extremely breathtaking beauty which she has attempted to infuse into her clay forms and their surfaces. She wants her art to go home with you and share in the everyday joys and sorrows of life itself.
In the winter of 1990, Olsen joined her friends in a “girls’ night out” experience which consisted of pottery classes at the Athabasca River Potters Guild. It was one of her first steps in a life long quest to make clay, and it’s finished surfaces, bend to her will. As her children grew, she committed herself to a 20 year plan to be working clay full time when the kids were done high school. When that day arrived, she realized that she was undereducated, lacking skills in all areas including business. So, she went off to New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton, NB.
In the spring of 2015, Olsen earned, with honours, a Diploma in Fine Craft: Ceramics from New Brunswick College of Craft and Design in Fredericton, NB. She received scholarships from the British Columbia Arts Council and the Chilliwack Arts Council. The New Brunswick Arts Board awarded her The Charlotte Glenncross Scholarship for Excellence in Design. Her work has been exhibited across Canada.
After a few years in the Fraser Valley, January 2019 found Olsen on a hill at the 108 Mile Ranch BC setting up a home and a studio. She has built a raku kiln which also fires her saggars with ease. She respectfully embraces the intensity of heat and fire, so close to her hands, when she pulls the red hot pots from the kiln. This is followed by a joyful dread as the lids get lifted from the cooled reduction bins and saggars. This same speculation is present, as she designs her functional line of pots, working the fine tuning of glazes in an electric kiln at cone 6.
"I would love to have you drop in so please give me a call or a text when you are on your way!"
Debi Olsen -THE 108 Mile Ranch, BC
Fieldstone East -a link to Debi's student work