Jamie Niessen and Randy Perry | Co-owners
Welcome to our world; we’re a couple who ditched careers in Toronto for a slower-paced life serving up stoneware realness in Summerside, Prince Edward Island. We’re from Alberta and PEI and after long corporate careers we decided to return to Randy’s home province, buy a small business and learn a hands-on craft. So, in 2017 we changed corporate suites for entrepreneurial hats and bought Island Stoneware. Along the way we rediscovered a love of gathering with friends and family and feeding our souls. We set about evolving the business into one whose values match our own. We have an eye for detail, a passion for quality, and a desire to own a sustainable retail and wholesale business. We’re art lovers but will be the first to admit that we’re not artists or potters. We’re part of a small team composed of trained potters and artists who leave the design, throwing and carving to the more creative studio members.
We’re drawn to what Island Stoneware represents; a time-honored timeless tradition of hearty meals shared with family and friends; collaborating with an island community of innovators, makers, growers, producers, chefs, and restaurants; and providing well-made quality products to our customers in Canada and around the world.
"Island Stoneware is our opportunity to introduce the joy and beauty of pottery to old and new generations. Food brings us together. And tasty food, beautifully presented in handcrafted pottery makes the whole experience even better."
Elsa Valinas | Production potter, designer, and artist
For Elsa every day she gets to spin, carve and create in the Island Stoneware studio is a good day. Born and raised in the chaotic and colourful atmosphere of Mexico City, Elsa is a trained industrial designer and interior designer. Both creative disciplines are vital to her pottery work and help to inform our product’s shapes, decoration and finishes.
Elsa moved to Canada from Mexico to study at the New Brunswick College of Craft and Design where she learned the ceramic craft and discovered a love of clay. She graduated in 2019 and met Jamie and Randy at a Halifax trade and craft show. They invited her to visit Island Stoneware and explore Prince Edward Island where she fell in love with both, joining the studio in the fall of 2019.
Elsa is always looking for ways to express her creativity and you’ll see her unique style in many Island Stoneware products. Her inspiration comes from her Mexican and Spanish roots, where the contrasts, ancestral traditions, and mix of modern elements influence her work. Elsa has become a true islander and has settled into a PEI rhythm.
"In Mexico you spend your life working or driving. In PEI my partner and I go to Chelton Beach after work every evening to watch the sunset. There’s a quiet feeling here that grounds me."
"Making pottery by hand is our business, joy, and passion. By choosing to buy from our small working studio in Summerside, Prince Edward Island, Canada, you’re supporting our dreams and livelihood."
Jamie Niessen, Owner