Jane Agnew
After graduating from both Sheridan College School of Design and York University with a diploma in ceramics and a BFA respectively, Agnew began a period of eight years of teaching at both the college and university levels. In 1978 she opened a studio and shop adjacent to her home in North Bay. In an effort to put economic impact behind her firm belief that the object maker is the ultimate designer and process controller, she expanded her operation turning the most popular item, the stoneware bag milk jug, into a large volume slip casting operation. Customers who had to wait six weeks for a milk jug were discontented: "one woman actually cried when I told her she would have to wait six weeks for her Jug" Agnew reminisses. Jane's Pottery Factory expanded operations building a fast fire tunnel kiln to reach production schedules of 100 jugs per week. Although Jane's interest in Fine Art and sculpture in particular has had to take a back seat to a pottery career, the popularity of gardening and accessories for the garden has allowed her to develop a line of fountainry and sculpture to be cast in concrete. Agnew's interest in sculpture has found release in these concrete castings and the "Art Works" side of the company consumes most of her time. "I always wanted to support myself as an artist; really the pottery was supposed to be the income earner." Recently Jane has completed several contract installations and is combining the production art business with one of a kind installations. Dissemination of technical information and skills remains important to Agnew and she has made presentations at several professional conferences and continues to teach part time at Canadore College’s ‘Artsperience’and Sir Sanford Flemming’s, Haliburton School of Fine Art.