Digital ceramics – Invest Medicine Hat

Digital ceramics

Creative City / People

Anchored by the Shaw Centre, Medicine Hat is now a destination for international artists creating work for customers around the world.

September 28, 2017

It’s a fact: you can text Aaron Nelson‘s pottery.

“The creative process can be applied to the digital technology we use on a daily basis,” says Nelson. “I like to incorporate technology into my work just as it is incorporated with our daily lives.”

Nelson’s career as a consultant and technical educator took him from Emily Carr University to work with artists in Chicago, Montana, Vancouver, Victoria and Medicine Hat, where he applies digital technology to ceramics at the Shaw International Centre for Contemporary Ceramics.

Since he’s landed in Medicine Hat, Nelson has facilitated the construction of salt and soda kilns and negotiated the arrival of Canada’s only Blaauw kiln available to artists, which has made the ceramic art world take note.

Situated among 100-year-old beehive kilns and 3D ceramic printers, the 12,000 square foot hive of professional artists is a centre of experimentation and growth. The variety of uses for clays and glazes is seen in the building’s entrance, where a collection of left-behind works of art include a vase by a Japanese ceramics master.

The Shaw Centre attracts artists and visitors and artists from around the world to experience part of Medicine Hat’s history and innovations in ceramics that leverage traditional mold making techniques.

“Eleven artists have stayed in Medicine Hat since the Shaw Centre officially opened in 2009,” says Nelson, who now calls Canada’s sunniest city home. “Being here allows you to accelerate what you are doing in a creative context.”

Nelson’s textable chandelier is on display at the Banff Centre for the Arts and Creativity and his work has been shown at design festivals in Toronto and New York.