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The Artists
 
Steve Smith - (Karon Hia Te – Standing Sky)
 
Born: September 12, 1948 | Mohawk Nation, Turtle Clan | Six Nations Reserve, Ontario.
Medium: Stoneware, earthenware and porcelain clay bodies oxides, glazes, raku, bone and stone carving.
Training: Elda and Oliver Smith (parents/owners of Mohawk Pottery)
                 Mr. Shenelly: Italian master artisan
 
Steve was born and raised on the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada. He belongs to the turtle clan of the Mohawk Nation. His parents were Oliver and Elda Smith. Oliver was an elementary school teacher and principal at Six Nations and instilled in his students a sense of pride for their native culture. Elda excelled artistically with a strong desire to preserve native and crafts. She devoted her life to researching, experimenting, reviving and teaching her native heritage. Iroquois pottery had become a lost art for at least a hundred years. After years of experimentation, Elda developed a tradition style of Iroquois pottery using modern techniques such as using an electric potter’s wheel and firing in an electric kiln. The highlight of Elda’s career came when the Canadian Government commissioned her to present a piece of her own creation to Her Majesty the Queen at Expo1969.
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Steve studied pottery under the guidance of his mother and Italian artisan, Mr. Rinaldo Shenelly. He began experimenting with a variety of clay bodies using other decorating and firing techniques. Steve also enjoys carving with stone and bone which he uses to adorn his pottery pieces. Steve has gained a wealth of knowledge of his native culture and their distinctive world view which is preserved in his work and hence comes the name, Talking Earth Pottery
 
Leigh Smith - (goh wa son noh gwas – picking names from the water)
 
Leigh is from the Mohawk Nation and belongs to the turtle clan. In 1971, she was introduced to the art of pottery by her husband Steve and his parents. Her work has won many awards and ribbons such as Judges Choice at the Heard Museum in Phoenix Arizona.
 
In 19983, she was commissioned by the Ontario government to create works for Prime Margaret Thatcher and Princes Margaret of the Netherlands. The Royal Battleship H.M.S. Brave has a permanent piece aboard titled, “Water Spirit”. Her works of art are found in museums and galleries throughout Canada and the United States and have traveled the world.
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BELOW ARE LISTED A FEW OF THE TALKIING EARTH POTTERY COMISSIONS:
native-pottery native-pottery native-pottery
BASF - Retiring President
Bob Raye - Premier of Ontario
Bobby Hull - NHL
David Suzuki
Family of Lawrence Harris - Founder of the Group of Seven Painters
Honourable Hilary M. Weston - Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
International Kiwanis President
Carol Stephenson - President & CEO of Lucent Technologies
Maureen Forester - Canadian Opera Singer
  Maureen Kempston Darkes - President GM Canada
Steven Lewis - Secretary of the United Nations
Wayne Gretzky - NHL
Magna International - Frank Stronach
British Prime Minister - Margaret Thatcher
June Callwood - Canadian Writer
Corporations
Hospital Foundations
Private Collections


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