Antonia Gijsbers was born in the Netherlands in 1943.
The call of the north beckoned them and it their two sons and now one
daughter they moved to Commanda Lake. They purchased a tourist resort
and it became Rockcliffe cottages, named after the large rock
overlooking the lake on their property. When there forth child was
born, a son and he started grade one, Tony went to Canadore College and
graduated three years later (1981) with her diploma in Crafts and
Design, specialization in ceramics.
Tony choose the medium of stoneware for her works.
"I became a production potter inspired by the ceramic
artist Micheal Casin, from England, who visited while I was still at
Canadore College. I loved his forms, functional works and the reduction
process of his finished pottery. He was so generous with his knowledge,
a real nice down to earth gentleman. Right after college we opened up
my first studio called Rockcliffe Pottery in 1981"
I am a person who always loved to make things. The medium of clay is my
driving force, rather than a concept or idea. Clay allows you so much
freedom it is very forgiving, you can add and subtract from it, form it
into something from nothing. I am definitely one who thrives in a
production environment, it is so rewarding and I feel a sense of
When I am working with clay, I am at peace and instant calm. It is
where I run too when I need to relax, or clear my mind. This is my
favourite part of the process of making pottery. It is a passion.
I have always been drawn to natural colours, inspired by my
surrounding, my first glaze I used was a tan glaze in which I take clay
from my backyard and makes a nice tan colour. True to my character, I
like to move, and never in a delicate way I enjoy dipping, pouring and
splashing glazes on my pots as an expression of who I am, and the way I
move as a person creating a variety of patterns I call art.
In the process of s firing pots, I get excited and anxious to see the
pottery completed and what the kiln will produce with spontaneously
movement of the fire to the glazes. Every piece is unique in their
patterns, and I like that I can not duplicate them.
Rockcliffe Pottery 599 Commanda Lake Road,
R.R. # 1 Nipissing, Ontario,