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Robertson's whimsical work makes people smile

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8th Annual Oxford Studio Tour

Tillsonburg's Station Arts Centre had a 'full house' of art on the weekend for the 8th Annual Oxford Studio Tour.

In total, the Oxford Studio Tour featured 41 artists exhibiting at 20 locations throughout the county Saturday and Sunday. Ten of the artists showed at the Station in Tillsonburg, including whimsical clay creator Paulette Robertson from Ingersoll.

"They are all whimsical, hand-built pieces," said Robertson. "I do all hand-building. Funky, folky. I make funky fish... some functional, some non-functional. Barn cats. Little earth angels."

Last year Robertson and two other artists exhibited from her Ingersoll home. This year they wanted a change and the Ingersoll group was welcomed at the Station.

"Maggie (Robinson) and I have been together for probably 10 years – at the house, or the art centre, or Craigowan in Woodstock," said Robertson. "Tracy (Reesor), I think this our third year together. For us, it's nice being here because there are new people who haven't seen our work. Its a nice change for us."

Robertson first started developing her whimsical style almost 25 years ago after visiting an old Latvian potter in Toronto.

"From there I just started making funky things – all hand-building. I've got a wheel, but I don't use it. I like bright colours. None of them are 'real' looking, they're all kind of whimsical. My work is very different," she laughed. "When you see it you know it's mine."

Her fish were popular – she only had a couple still on display Saturday afternoon.

"He's called Hot Lips," she said, pointing to one of her creations. "And I had a fish that 'chickened out.' And there was another one here called Hatty, and that was chicken of the sea. So they're really just fun, they make me feel good."

On the same table as 'Hot Lips' was a classic example of pottery by Station Art Centre's Deb Beard.

"I couldn't do that," Robertson admitted. "Her work is on the wheel, it's more traditional. That doesn't come out of me. I like it when it's crooked. I don't do anything that doesn't have a face... or rattles.

"This is another one of my pieces," she said, holding up an odd-looking creation. "I don't know what she is, really, but I love it."

chris.abbott@sunmedia.ca

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