Why an artist?

“Since I was a little kid I’ve been drawing all the time and I can remember in kindergarten I loved drawing horses and I was pretty good at it. One day my teacher was sick and there were some student teachers in and they saw what I was drawing and thought this was amazing so they took me to the principal’s office- this is a Catholic school run by nuns who didn’t care for art whatsoever, you only went to the principal’s office to get the strap. I thought – what have I done you know (laughing).

They took me down there, the principal looked at it and went yaya, take him back – you know, she didn’t think anything of it, but I was always drawing.I was going to go to college and be a draftsperson because that’s what I took in high school. About two weeks before I was supposed to go there I decided to go to the Ontario College of Art. I applied and got in and when I was there I was going to do sculpture because I loved doing sculptural stuff. I was going by the pottery studio one day and there was a fellow in there by himself making pottery who happened to be the technician, so I went in and sat down after awhile he said  ‘Do you want to try this?’ I said ‘Sure it looks like fun’. He said ‘Well don’t get your hopes up because nobody makes anything the first time’. Well, I made a vase about 10 inches high and 4 or 5 inches round and he looked at me and said ‘You have to go into pottery’. Right then I fell in love with pottery and it’s been my love ever since.”

About Vince Bowen:

Born in Toronto, Bowen’s family moved to Lindsay ON where Vince grew up.

After high school he went to the Ontario College of Art studying  material arts and then studied at Sheridan College for three years graduating in 1974 with a diploma in crafts and design-ceramics, followed by 3 years working at the college as a ceramic technician. After trips to the west and east coast of Canada looking for a “good fit”  for Rockrose Pottery studio, Bowen moved to the Markdale area in 1978. Vince’s other great joy is gardening and as result, he earned a diploma in horticulture from the University of Guelph in 2000 and subsequenlty formed a  landscaping company. Since 1984 Rockrose Pottery has been a fixture at the Owen Sound Farmers’ Market. 

Contact Vince at rockrosepottery@gmail.com

Note: This interview and photography shoot was conducted on March 13, 2020 before the general outbreak of Covid-19.

Words and Photography by Willy Waterton