Ester Strijbos – Ceramics


Ester’s clay adventure began by chance. After immigrating to Canada from the Netherlands, she took a pottery class on a remote island in BC and was hooked for life.

She loves creating with her hands, each piece is unique and one of a kind. She gets to decide how to shape and decorate it, which is defined by her mood, the people she meets, the stories she hears, the stormy weather, the flowers that open in the garden, the smell of rain or the poem she reads. She is inspired by nature, the places she calls home; Tofino, Cortes Island, Victoria and any kind of pattern or art that she come across. It makes her want to create instantly.

Ester throws functional pieces only – it makes her very happy to hear stories about her pots – how people make delicious food and serve it on a platter with people they love, or use one of her bowls for breakfast every morning.

She loves the feeling of the smooth clay spinning in her hand. The combination of clean lines, simplistic forms and the ability to create a variety of surface decoration is what makes clay the perfect medium. To leave a mark made by hands.  To be allowed to be perfectly imperfect.

Every bowl she makes is a blank canvas, offering endless possibilities.  She uses Sgraffito technique and underglazes to accentuate the forms.  Stamping, carving, layering. Every time she is behind her wheel, she is in her happy place. Music in the background, the sun beaming through the windows or the rain pounding on the roof, her hands creating bowls that people use to nourish & find comfort. For themselves, or to share with family and friends.

You can find Ester’s pieces at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria as well as at pop-up shows. She was recently at the Hills to Shore Artists Tour (May 11 & 12, 2024), at the home studio of Marcela’s Strasdas. Ester has participated in solo and group exhibitions on Vancouver Island and she is an active member of the South Vancouver Island Potters Guild.