Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

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Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

Post by beedragon on September 2nd 2013, 1:28 pm


 

 
Found one of these on eBay with a sticker attributing it to Gene Barker of Webster's Corner, British Columbia, Canada (1970s).  Piece itself appears to be marked with a small KTT or KMT near the upper left of the back.  There appear to be two more pieces available in this series - square plates showing a Haida Frog and a Haida Bear.
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Re: Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

Post by beedragon on September 4th 2013, 12:57 am

A little additional research shows a similar plate with Cha. Banquet carved into the rear.  Other markings very similar to this dish so perhaps Gene Barker (as seen in a sticker attached to a similar plate) was a re-seller/store owner??

I think these are moulded pieces, perhaps hand-made but not hand-carved.
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Re: Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

Post by NaomiM on September 4th 2013, 9:18 am

Seems the Haida are a tribal group in Alaska - the same ones who carve the little argillite totem poles - so this is probably a tribal piece retailed by Gene Barker.

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Re: Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

Post by beedragon on September 4th 2013, 12:10 pm

Haida are (were?) the native Indians of the Canadian west coast, specifically British Columbia. They have a very distinctive art style - heavily totem influenced. I'm definitely going to be looking more into these little pieces.
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Re: Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

Post by beedragon on September 4th 2013, 9:43 pm

Interesting info just received from the Maple Ridge (BC) Museum and Archives:

Gene Barker was a woman who worked with another woman named Ruth Meechan out of the Maple Ridge neighbourhood called "Webster's Corners".  They dug their own clay in the area and had a kiln.  Most of their designs were of the raised First Nations style and their work was sold as tourist ware as far away as Banff.  You can sometimes tell which woman made a particular plate by what is written on the underside.  If it says "Handmade of BC clay", that's Ruth's work.  If it says, "Handmade in BC Canada", that is Gene's work.

My oval dish says Handmade of BC clay so it should be attributed to Ruth Meechan. What I thought was a KTT mark is probably RM.

If a mod sees this, could the title of my thread be amended to read Gene Barker/Ruth Meechan (Canada)? Thanks!
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Re: Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

Post by beedragon on September 5th 2013, 12:03 am

Obituary for Ruth Meechan (excerpted from the Rootsweb Archives)

MEECHAN Ruth 1914 - 2007 Ruth passed away peacefully on August 29, 2007
after a long and well lived life...Ruth was born in Glenavon, Sask., and moved to
Vancouver in the 40's to attend art school... She was incredibly
creative throughout her life and expressed herself through drawing,
painting, textile arts and later as a potter. Her work was accepted in
juried shows in Vancouver and across Canada. Ruth was always able to earn
her living from her art, first as a graphic artist and illustrator, and
later as a potter. She established a pottery studio in Maple Ridge, designed
and built the first studio-car kiln in B.C., taught pottery and mentored
many young potters. As one of the original members of the B.C. Potters
Guild, she served a term as president and edited their magazine the "Western
Potter" for many years. Published in the Vancouver Sun and/or The Province on 9/29/2007.
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Re: Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

Post by vanmann on April 6th 2014, 5:45 pm

Another Ruth Meechan piece Killer Whale decoration

 
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Re: Gene Barker / Ruth Meechan (Canada)

Post by NaomiM on April 6th 2014, 6:01 pm

Nice.
Saw a painted pebble with this design this week, so not just pottery.

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