ron thom and the allied arts


It wasn’t quite my intention to post a blog and then send you away but this initial one is a bit special. The current show at the Gardiner Museum here in Toronto is well worth the admission to see a great Canadian modernist and the studio ceramics he commissioned for his acclaimed buildings: Massey College, Toronto and Trent University, Peterborough. Some beautiful 1960s examples from John Reeve and Ed Drahanchuk with a smattering of pieces from Britain and Japan. The show runs from February 13 through April 27, 2014

ashtray trio

These are three of Ed Drahanchuk’s acclaimed, ubiquitous stoneware ashtrays from my collection. The several I have, never seem to cease to please and delight. Something about the perfect proportion: square, height, brushwork design balanced against the red grain of the stoneware. These are quite similar to ones produced for the student rooms at Trent.

The John Reeve table lamps in the show are stunners. If the light bulbs are off you might want to reach in and turn them on — the glaze let alone the form is as good as you’ll see from any potter. Master work hanging planters from Ed Drahanchuk — courtesy of a truly inspired collector.

Smart curating. Well executed display. Don’t miss it.


  1. Richard · · Reply

    Stunning show! A must for canadian design and ceramics, and the added treat of the original presentation drawings for Massey college shouldn’t be missed. An important era is nicely captured.

  2. Ted Fraser · · Reply

    Fine exhibition of the relation among architectural design, nature, furniture and ceramics. Understated and non-ideological. Reeve and Drahanchuk outstanding artists, their contribution stressed by the Gardiner.

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