Yolande Clark was born in Vancouver, and took her first pottery class at age 3. She studied piano and creative writing but fell in love with the extreme process of wood-firing in her mid-twenties, dedicating her life to the art of woodfire after an intense and immersive apprenticeship in fire and clay. Yolande lives with her husband, fellow ceramic artist Lee Horus Clark, and their three young children in rural New Brunswick. There, they fire their 25-foot long Queenstown Anagama which they built together in the summer of 2012.
Yolande has travelled with her work throughout Canada and to the US and Europe and has shown in solo and group exhibitions in Eastern Canada, Toronto, Vancouver, and France. Her pieces are collected internationally, and one of her sculptural works, “Firebox Buddha”, resides in the permanent collection at the Burlington Arts Centre, Ontario.
Firing clay with wood continues to redefine what work, and love and reality and letting go mean to me. Woodfiring, in the most intoxicating way, is the collision between human effort and the vagaries and gorgeousness of nature. It is a constant adventure and a never ending lesson. I have quite a few brilliant and lofty ideas about art and form. But ultimately, my life is so many layers of words and words and pain and memories and mud and dirt. It feels good to burn that all away, and to be able to find some kind of treasure from the wreckage, some kind of beauty. Every day, I lose my mind, I screw things up, I hurt the people I love. The turning wheel brings me back to myself. Stoking the hot fire on a cool black night is good religion. I love woodfiring, and it also makes me cry.