Remembering Robin Hopper – potter, teacher, gardner, author, mentor, & friend

Robin Hopper playing his horn mouthpiece

Robin Hopper tooting his horn
I have been thinking about writing this blog for awhile.  Reading other friends posts about Robin made me reluctant to do it.  What else could I say about this man?  He was known by many for his workshops and books/videos.  He was a national treasure of Canada for his artwork, research, and many years of teaching.  April of 2015, we brought a birthday lunch to his home.  It was a special day filled with horn blowing, laughter, and of course sharing of knowledge.
Robin Hopper and Judi Dyelle
You can find lots of information about Robin on the internet.  Tony Clennell was special friend to both Robin and Judi (Robin’s wife).  I believe that he will be speaking at the next (NCECA) International Ceramics Conference on Robin’s behalf.  I am sure there won’t be a dry eye in the room and mostly because the goal will be to make the crowd laugh so hard that they cry.  Click on Tony’s picture below to read his farewell to Robin (You will love his wit.)
Robin Hopper, Cathi Jefferson, Judi Dyelle
The Last Supper – Tony Clennell
One of Robin’s last projects was to produce a DVD title, Swan-song.  It shares this artist’s 70 plus years in the arts, his wit, and love for teaching.  ALL of the proceeds goes to two things he loves:  arts education and pediatric cancer research.  When watching Swan-song, I laughed, cried a bit, and learned a few things.  You won’t regret purchasing a copy.  Steve Branfman at the New Hampshire Potter’s Shop was a good friend, helping him with this last project.  You can purchase from his site.  
Robin Hopper's SwanSong DVDSwan-Song DVD
I want to share Steven’s post because I think he says it so well:  “
Swansong is Robin’s final contribution to the world. It is a labor of love that speaks to his love of art, history, culture and philanthropy. In the introduction to his last book Robin Hopper Ceramics, Robin’s words describing the book summarize his life; 
It is also a love story–a somewhat unusual love story. It is about passion, intrigue, and obsession. It is a story about a lust for life, a thirst for knowledge, a passion for pots, a mania for mud and minerals and a commitment to furthering the development of ceramic communication and education. “
I am grateful for my time with Robin and all that I learned from him.  I tried very hard to never say anything foolish or ask a question where the answer could be found in one of his books.  He left the world a better place.  I believe that he hopes many of us will take up his torch to better our personal worlds.  One of the last things he said to me was to remember to be kind, look for the good or bright side of things, and just keep “making”.

“Try It and See”

Some images of Chosin Pottery Gardens and several pieces from my collection:

gardens at Chosin pottery

gardens at Chosin Pottery

Click to see more garden images


Robin Hopper in his gallery

Robin Hopper ceramic substrate painting

Robin Hopper clematis series

Robin Hopper jar


Robin Hopper Beverly Norton Walker Cyndi Casemier

Robin’s obituary:  Times Colonist

An article about Robin:  December 2015

One of our conversations recorded

One of his last public performances at NCECA: