Orcas Island Pottery

Syd Exton

Some of Syd Exton’s earliest memories are of sleeping in the teepee in the back yard of the Orcas Island Pottery. While her mother and grandmother made pottery for the shop, Syd spent her summers exploring the beach, sailing rafts, building treehouses, and making pottery. Playing with clay became working in clay over the years, and in 1985, upon her return to the island, she took over management of the business for her grandmother and became the lead potter. Under her guidance the pottery has grown and prospered. Her eye for beauty, her abundant energy, and her love of the place, show in the ever evolving gardens and the tantalizing displays of pottery indoors and out. And although she makes some pottery of her own still, today she is known as the “Glaze Queen of Orcas Island Pottery”. She glazes most of the work of our production potters, Matt Haeuser, Mike Rozzi and Levi Vincent, and has created all the OIP dinnerware patterns. What began 20 years ago as simple ideas and inspirations, have evolved, through many experiments and countless firing trials and tribulations, into the elegant patterns the pottery is famous for today. Her designs are the most sought after of all the work at the pottery and delight people at dinner tables around the world.