Potter Ann Randeraad is predominantly self taught, and has followed her passion for pots for about twenty years now. However, it is just in the last few years that she is actively pursuing this career path with renewed enthusiasm. Raising four young children, running a local landscaping and tree moving company with her husband (DIG IT with Dirk), and farming has required the core of her time for the last 15+ years. All of these components have contributed to a much diversified inspiration for the world of clay.
Ann works out of her studio at Alton Mill Arts Centre. Clay works ranging from tea bowls, dinnerware, to large platters are all part of her cast. Some commissions are taken for functional ware and more specialized items, such as vessel sinks. Her passion for pottery is reflected in the strong simple forms of her wheel thrown pieces. Hand built forms with changing textural impressions find their way into both her stoneware and raku pieces. Her raku pieces merge from small crackle glazed pieces with decorative smoked details through to the glossy metallic hues of her vases and plates.
Empty Bowls Alton is one of Ann’s passion projects. Empty Bowls is an international project to fight hunger, personalized by artists and art organizations on the community level. The first Empty Bowls event was started in 1990 in Michigan and was perceived to be a one-time event. As potters and communities became aware of this simple concept, Empty Bowls expanded and is now an internationally recognized program.
In the simplest programs, potters or ceramic artists create bowls and the funds raised from the sale of these bowls goes to local food banks. Empty Bowls Alton is fortunate to have the support of local restaurants who donate their hearty soups. This means as consumers come out on the day of the event and choose a bowl, they will also receive a bowl of soup. With the event name and the handcrafted bowl comes the awareness that many less fortunate only have an empty bowl. Our objective is to raise awareness and to overcome this challenge one bowl at a time.