Glen Dunning

Brief biography

D.O.B. Sept 9, 1948, Ottawa, Canada
Glen Dunning studied pottery at the Holland College School of Visual Arts in Charlottetown Prince Edward Island, Canada, from 1971-73.
He returned to his home province Ontario, to join 3 friends at the Crossroads Craft Co-op, located at 1242 Wellington St in Ottawa. He worked at Crossroads from 1973 till 1979, producing & selling wheel thrown functional pottery.
From 1979-81, as a technical advisor to the Dep't of Rural Development in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria, Africa, (under the auspices of C.U.S.O), Glen helped to set up local pottery industries.
After his tour with C.U.S.O., Dunning and 2 friends drove a Land-Rover north from Nigeria, through Niger, across the Sahara Desert, and continued north through Algeria to the city of Algiers, on the Mediterranean coast. They then continued on north across the Mediterranean, through France, across the Channel to Dover, and then on to London.
After returning from London to Ottawa, Dunning worked at CCOC, Canada’s largest private not-for-profit housing corporation.
In 1991 Dunning returned to his true calling, pottery, and set up a studio and showroom in the village of Embrun, located a short drive south-east of Ottawa. Glen produces a wide selection of wheel thrown functional porcelain tableware, as well as wall plaques and non functional sculptural pieces.

Artist’s Statement:

From the start of his career as a potter Glen Dunning has been inspired by the aesthetic philosophy espoused by the founders of the ARTS & CRAFTS movement.

The Arts and Crafts Movement flourished from about 1880, and at its heart lay a concern for the role of the craftsman in society. It sought authentic and meaningful styles for the 19th century and beyond, and was a reaction equally against the overly decorated Victorian style and also to the flood of cheap, badly designed and shabbily made products from the soulless factories that had sprung up throughout Britain, the result of the industrial revolution.

Inspired by the ideas of John Ruskin and William Morris, the Arts and Crafts movement advocated a revival of traditional handcrafts, a return to a simpler way of life and an improvement in the design of ordinary everyday domestic objects.

Glen Dunning finds the philosophy & aesthetic aims of the Arts & Crafts movement as relevant now as they were over a hundred years ago.  Today, cheap, badly designed and shabbily made ‘handicrafts” imported from China are flooding the market.

We continue to struggle to define the role of the individual craftsman in modern society but Mr. Dunning believes that handmade, functional and well designed objects for everyday use are as valuable and vital today as they were a century ago.