Past Projects

Architectural Ceramics: Salt Spring Library Dragon (9 feet) March 2013

The "Story Dragon" captures the imagination and intrigue the books expose us to when we read. The dragon is made of paper clay which makes it very light in weight and easier to install. It features tiles in the belly and tail that were hand painted by island children. Tracy facilited a drawing contest and painting workshops with island children. The Dragon is made up of 144 hand painted tiles. The tiles the children painted feature Dragon story characters chosen by the children. And the book the dragon holds lists the names of the Dragon books the children referenced for their drawings.

Tracy was one of 6 artists chosen (out of 150) to do an art installation at the Salt Spring Library. She decided on the 9 foot clay dragon which because everyone likes a good Dragon Story and because when the library was built, it was the Year of the Dragon! This delightful Dragon was installed directly onto the concrete wall in the Children's area of the island public library in March 2013

Call for Entry: Local children and youth (ages 6 to 18) were asked to submit
images from favourite dragon stories (a character, scene, or dragon) for consideration in the
painting of the dragon belly and tail tiles. The local newspaper article title was "Island youth invited to feed Dragon's literary appetite".

  • The deadline for submissions was February 2nd, 2013. A small committee was struck to choose the images best suited for the dragon and the selected painters were invited to come and paint the tiles. They did a fabulous job!

The dragon met the fire in the kiln mid to late February and was installed in March 2013.

Dragon Library  Dragon Reading

Architectural Ceramic Installation - Arbutus Tree (7 feet)   (2012)

The vision of this family commission was to create something aesthetically pleasing behind the woodstove in the family room running up the wall spreading gently across the top of the wall just below the ceiling. After bouncing around some ideas we decided on an arbutus tree. Salt Spring Island is full of arbutus trees so the subject matter is local. We also explored ways the children could be involved in the project.

Here are some of the tree photographs taken by the artist and family which were used in the sculptural and painting process of the installation.

Manya ArbutusArbutus Bottom TrunkArbutus Berries & Leaves
Arbutus tree on the
family’s property
Detail of an Arbutus treeImage was used to get
colours of berries & leaves

We had a family session while the clay was still wet so the family members could add to the tree. Molly pictured in the lower left picture, made two wonderful dragonflies on a limb. The boys Nick and Aiden worked out spots for geckos, slugs, snakes and dragonflies while Hanna in another area of the studio helped to mould and carve out various creatures. She also contributed a beautiful butterfly to the tree trunk. Rob, the Father made a gecko changing its colours from green to brown.

Molly Nick & AidenHannah at the slab rollerRob & kidsRob & boys
Molly, Nick & Aiden
working on the tree
Hanna at the slab roller
cutting out creatures
Dad joins in to consult on
Working out the gecko/
dragonfly war positions!

DragonflyButterflyFrog & Gecko
Molly made the dragonflyHanna made the butterflyNick & Aiden made the Frog & Gecko

Completion of Project
In the end, the Arbutus Tree moved upstairs to the living room and was mounted on a beautiful cherry and baltic birch frame created by local Woodworker Kenn Lunn. A french cleat was used to hang the frame on the wall. See the architectural ceramics page for a view of the whole tree prior to installation on the wood frame and wall.