Categorized | News

Town of Taber commissions Fort Macleod artist Marney Delver to create gift for Japanese twin city

Fort Macleod artist Marney Delver created this dish for the Town of Taber. Taber officials presented it as a gift to officials from Higashiomi City to mark the 35th anniversary of twinning with the Japanese community.

Fort Macleod artist Marney Delver created this dish for the Town of Taber. Taber officials presented it as a gift to officials from Higashiomi City to mark the 35th anniversary of twinning with the Japanese community.

Fort Macleod artist Marney Delver

Fort Macleod artist Marney Delver

A Fort Macleod artist’s work symbolizes the strong bond between a community in southern Alberta and Japan.
The Town of Taber commissioned Marney Delver to create a one of a kind gift to be presented to visiting Japanese officials.
The gift celebrates the 35th anniversary of the Town of Taber’s twinning with Higashiomi.
“I was over the moon thrilled to be asked to do a project like this,” Delver said.
Taber and the Town of Notogawa in Shiga Prefecture signed a twinning agreement in 1980.
The Town of Notogawa amalgamated in 2005 with five other towns to form Higashiomi City.
To mark the 35th anniversary of the twinning, Taber officials decided to commission a unique gift for Higashiomi.
“One of the representatives from the town of Taber was familiar with my work and thought it was a good fit for what they were looking for,” Delver said. “They wanted a gift that was original and created by someone local. They wanted something representative of both Taber and Higashiomi incorporated into the piece.”
Delver started the project by collecting information about trees and flowers representative of both regions.
The Fort Macleod artist chose the Japanese Maple for Higashiomi and the potato flower for Taber.
Delver liked the Japanese Maple for the leaf’s elegance and colour, as well as the unique branch structure and the way it twists to make interesting shapes.
“The potato flower was perhaps not the most obvious choice for Taber but they grow a lot of potatoes in their region and when I took a closer look at a potato flower, realized it was a very pretty little bloom,” Delver explained.
Taber asked Delver to make a dish about seven inches in diameter and put an inscription on the bottom of the dish.
“I also needed to consider it would be taking a plane ride, so nothing too delicate,” Delver added. “I came up with a plan of a dish that was lined with the elegant maple leaves and the edge of the plate would be the twisting branches of the Japanese Maple. Little clusters of potato flowers would be dancing around the rim of the plate.”
The Taber officials loved the vision for the piece as expressed by Delver and gave her the green light.
“The timeline I was given was pretty tight but because it was a fairly small dish I was able to pull it off,” said Delver, who created the dish in her studio at the Fort Macleod home she shares with husband Curtis, son Justin and daughter Cassie. “I was a little nervous opening the kiln lid but it came out perfectly.”
Delver describes the process for creating the dish as “quite disjointed.” She would build a portion, leave it to set up and move on to something else, then go back and continue working on the dish.
“I let them dry slowly for as long as my time line will allow,” Delver said. “My larger pots will dry for up to a month or more. In this case I only had a week but because of its size I was able to get away with it. The slow drying process will result in less cracking.”
A delegation from Higashiomi travelled to Taber this summer for a celebration, with people from the southern Alberta community travelling to Japan.
Delver in the past was commissioned to do drawings for Chinook Health Region and the cover of the Charolais Banner magazine but this is the first clay work commission she has done for an organization.
Delver was excited to play an important role in the relationship between Taber and its sister city in Japan.
“It is a pretty special feeling to have one of your creations on the other side of the world,” Delver said.

Tags |

Comments are closed.