Hornby Island Pottery Studio {notes}

Last week-end I visited the beautiful Hornby Island which is one of the Gulf Coast Islands.  It is just off the shore of Vancouver Island and accessible by not just one, but two ferries.  One of them to get to Denman Island and after a short drive across Denman, another Ferry to Hornby Island.  Personally, I think half the charm of the islands is getting there!  It’s like a little adventure all on it’s own.

After a short but scenic drive across the Island  to Little Tribune Bay I was greeted by Jennifer Armstrong – lovely girl, wonderful mother and gracious tour guide… and friend.  Oh and photographer, please have a peek at her work!   The sun was starting to shine, the birds were singing, the waves were lapping quietly and it was, well, quiet.  And perfect.  My teeny little bedroom looked out on to the beach and had it’s own own private door to a back deck.  I felt like a princess.  It was just the start of an amazing week-end with beautiful weather, beautiful (and talented) photographers and many many excursions.

One of the many… the Pottery Studio of Heinz Laffin and Gerhard Kozel.  I’d heard about it from some of  the girls that had seen it before but I was still surprised to see the reality of it.  Much of the pottery is displayed outdoors and it looks like it’s own little art studio. Meet Heinz, working away in his element.  A place he obviously loves and worked hard to build in to what it is today.  His pottery wheel is the wheel that he built with his own hands when he was just starting out.  It’s not electric, but rather powered but nothing other than Heinz himself.  His foot to be exact.  He spins the large wheel at the base by setting his foot down and pulling backwards.  Over and over.  He says once it gets going it’s easy to keep spinning as it is weighted but it looks like quite the job to get it to start.  In our world of electricity and gadgets and “newness” this was a gift to see.  A hardworking man, walking across his handmade floors, creating art with handmade tools on a tiny island.

If you visit Hornby I highly recommend trying to visit the studio.  The pottery is very very beautiful, as are the colors which of course he creates himself and the studio alone is worth a visit.  It’s even fairly close to Tribune Bay, also known as Little Hawaii for it’s beautiful sand beach.  It’s a must see too.


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  • jacquie - I love these photos Michelle! They make me feel like I’m there. If we go back to Hornby Island I have to go visit this place!

  • jennifer armstrong - michelle, you have captured heinz in his studio perfectly. The feel of their space, how he works his wheel, all the tools of the trade & their beautiful work. Fabulous captures, each & every one. Treasures.

  • Terry McKaig - I love these photos! Makes me want to go there……….I bet this man would love to have these photos! They are absolutely amazing!