South African born artist Sandra Silberman and her husband Gavin Silberman began their ceramics business Dotti Potts in Canada in 1995. Sandra first fell in love with ceramics while studying with well-known South African ceramic artist Anthony Shapiro in 1992.
She has always been fascinated with patterning and surface decoration and saw endless possibilities with this medium. Sandra has formally studied printmaking, but as a ceramicist is primarily self-taught, with a strong sense of adventure and experimentation. Gavin, furniture designer and cabinetmaker, brings to Dotti Potts a wealth of technical and design skills. Gavin runs Symmetree Custom Woodworking and services Barrie and area.
Their main focus is to produce useful ceramic items that are seen, well used, and enjoyed. Simple, clean design is a guiding principle. "We create a line of ceramic items that reflect our own sense of style. We draw on our African roots for inspiration, producing work for Canadian homes. We are artists first, but have never pretended not to be business people as well. We see our product not only as craft but also as a saleable commodity."
The Silbermans exhibit at juried craft shows throughout Canada, including the One of a Kind Show in Toronto and Plein Art in Quebec, among many others. Their work was part of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art’s traveling exhibition “On The Table,” and has been sold at the Gardiner Museum as well as at the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Together Sandra and Gavin have produced an incredible diversity of work over the past 25 years. Items produced include serving pieces and dinnerware, tiles, ceramic wall quilts, and porcelain jewellery.
Their work is constantly evolving. Drawing inspiration primarily from home décor, architecture and nature, Dotti Potts’ aesthetic is fashion forward, but with a timeless quality. Sandra believes that an artist’s work should constantly evolve, but feels grateful that her strong creative spark has provided a lifetime of inspiration for future work.
Moving forward, the couple plans to further develop their jewellery line and produce a greater variety of dinnerware, in line with their goal to produce well-designed, durable pieces that are used and enjoyed every day.