For many people memorable moments and events can have a profound influence in the direction of where our lives are headed. Heather Goldminc’s moment came at the age of five. One day, her mother brought home a bag of clay which instantly captured Heather’s interest. As she recalls it, the stuff was cold, wet, gray, and musty – hardly the stuff to inspire a young girl. However, this raw lump of clay would soon become a reflection of her soul, dancing through her dreams until given life by her hands.
Growing up in North Vancouver, B.C., she was inspired by a wealth of life experiences, including being a competitive Highland dancer. Her teen age daughter, Rachael, was a competitive Highland dancer as well and won several awards in Scotland a few years ago. Working her way through art school, Heather juggled jobs as a dance instructor as well as a salesperson in a shore store. Her position at the shoe store would become another memorable moment in her life – her boss, Jean-Marc, would soon become her husband! Before she realized it, Heather began to sell her products to local gift stores and galleries, absolutely thrilled that her creations gave many people tremendous joy.
In 1996, Heather and her family moved to a small island near Vancouver. Thinking the island paradise would lead to a simpler life and shortened work schedule, the reality proved quite the opposite. With Heather and Jean-Marc working together to run the clay studio, they called Clayworks, it soon became one of the most popular places for giftware on the island. After a busy three years, Heather came to realize that she could not fulfill her developing artistic dreams alone. As a result, the studio headed in a new direction. As if fate itself intervened, Heather was approached by Blue Sky. Captivated by her work and dedication to keeping its joyful spirit intact, Blue Sky offered Heather a way to inspire collectors worldwide.
For Heather, it is a tremendous privilege and dream come true to see her work in the homes of people all over the world, touching the hearts of so many. Truly, heather’s story is an overnight success story that took a lifetime to blossom.
“When I was in art school the one thing I prayed for was that my work reflects a strong style. That prayer has been answered and is generally referred to as image, color rich, and whimsical.”
Heather also creates Clayworks Studio Originals for sale thru Courtneys Candles. Clayworks Studio Originals are custom made candle houses and ceramic art produced by Heather in her studio on Vancouver Island. Heather is also able to make custom versions of Clayworks that are no longer available.
How Heather creates a candle house: (See the inset photos above... click the image for a better view.)
1. After rolling out the clay, Heather Goldminc cuts out a flat four-sided house. Afterward, Heather will stamp details onto the candle house with hand-made clay stamps she makes for each new collection.
2. When the clay is firm enough, it is stood up and shaped.
3. A roof is added and cutouts are made for windows and doors.
4. Heather adds a gutter to the house. After the house dries, it is placed in an electric kiln where it is fired to a very high temperature.
5. Heather's Clayworks houses are created using an array of colors, which add to the whimsical mood of her candle houses. Twenty-two-karat gold is applied to each piece, carefully highlighting the work. After painting, the glazed pieces are fired at extreme temperatures for several hours and cooled. This process produces vibrant colors and detailed designs that endure for years of enjoyment.
6. By the time fully fired originals are ready for finishing they have been fired many different times.