About Us


Island Stoneware: Handcrafted Pottery Made with Love on Prince Edward Island

Randy, Roxie & Jamie

What self-respecting gay couple without kids ditches the high life in Toronto for a slower-paced, shorts-wearing, no-socks life serving up stoneware realness in Summerside, Prince Edward Island?

Thank you for asking. :)

While my husband and I love and appreciate arts and culture in all their many forms, we’re not practising artists. I’ve got a Masters in Business Administration and my husband, Randy (PEI born and bred!) is in the tech trade - he develops software solutions… That’s as much as I can tell you without glazing over (welcome to the wild world of pottery jokes!).

All that to say, while I’m still learning the craft of pottery, everything that stoneware is, and what it stands for, sings to my soul.

I grew up in a small town in Alberta called Claresholm. My family is very close and growing up, well, let’s just say meals were always well-attended. But it wasn’t just the food that made it all so special. It was the whole experience. It was my mom’s baked casserole served in a pottery dish made by my uncle that I now use to serve meals to my family and friends...

Because as luck would have it, I love feeding people. But not just feeding, I love presenting them with an experience - from how I make the food to what I serve it in. Every detail matters. Strangely, I didn’t feel that way about the corporate world.

Which is why my husband and I left Toronto and moved to his hometown for what we thought would be a slower pace - turns out being entrepreneurs is not actually a “slower pace!” But it is our chance to own a business that lets us bring beauty into the world, and that brings us joy.

For Randy and I, Island Stoneware represents time-honored - and timeless! - traditions like sit down, hearty meals with family and friends, but it also has a very modern appeal.

While the craft of pottery is older than dirt (you're welcome!), our handmade stoneware is modern in that it’s oven, microwave and dishwasher safe - no special treatment required! Just bake, serve, reheat, clean and repeat for many, many years.

Island Stoneware is also our chance to introduce the joy and beauty of pottery to a new generation looking to make traditions of their own. Let’s face it: Food brings us together. And tasty food, beautifully presented in handcrafted bakeware makes the whole experience even better.

We know you’ll agree and we look forward to serving you in person (with masks on and proper social distancing etiquette!) at our studio in Summerside, and online any time at www.islandstoneware.ca (hey, we ship worldwide!).

If you’re feeling old school, or just want to have a chat about all things pottery, call us at 902.724.5100 or 1.888.PEI.CLAY (734.2529).

Our Potters

Elsa Valinas

Elsa is a potter, industrial and interior designer born and raised in the chaotic and colourful Mexico City. She decided to turn her life 180° to find a better and more creative way of life. She moved to Canada and studied Ceramics at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design. She met Jamie and Randy who invited her to visit their studio in P.E.I. She fell in love with both and, after graduating, she moved to the Island to join the studio in the Fall of 2019.

Rachel Ballem

Rachel Ballem

Rachel joined Island Stoneware in 2019. Originally from Summerside, she started as a self-taught sculptor using newpaper and a food processor to create her first sculpting material. She moved on to polymer clay and then to stoneware clay. She’s been potting for over 22 years. Rachel is the mom of two grown kids and a menagerie of animals.

 

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