I’ve found very little about the history of this small BC pottery. There seems to be quite a few pieces to be found here in Western Canada – very free-form and organic in shapes and colours. I’ll continue to look for information of the potter (and pottery), Ínéke. If anyone has any info, please pass it along. I’d love to know more.
Artist: Inéke van’t Riet
Profile: Born on Aug 1, 1928. Survived WW2 in the Netherlands. At age 14, training began with a potter in Holland. Married in 1951. Immigrated to Canada from Holland in 1952 (1953?). Worked across Canada, stopping in Calgary, AB for 2 years. Moved to Cordova Bay, Vancouver Island around 1955. Died Sept 27, 1997.
Inéke’s first child was born in the Cordova Bay area in 1957. The young family moved to West Saanich in 1962, when her second child was born. Ineke Pottery opened in Saanich in this same year. Inéke, with her husband, created and sold her distinctive, organic form pottery pieces. Ineke Pottery sold to Butchart Gardens, BC Ferries, the old Fable Cottage and many more stores. June, the oldest daughter, remembers that they all helped in the pottery as Inéke turned a lot of pieces, sometimes hundreds in a day, to fill orders. It was the van’t Riet’s sole business, providing for five children, until Inéke could no longer turn her pottery creations. Inéke transitioned to stoneware pottery in the 1980s, but produced almost nothing in the 90s, passing away from cancer on Sept. 27, 1997.
Location: Victoria and Saanichton, BC. Her studio was located in the double cottage at Mt. Newton and West Saanich Rd. [confirmed by family members]
Inéke’s pottery displays botanical motifs and may have been inspired by the vegetation that grew in the Butchart Gardens. Pieces are often hand-turned with artisan decoration of applied flowers (dogwood), in studio-pottery style.
Inéke pottery was made for specific places or events and many pieces were made for souvenir and gift shops, such as Mattick’s Farm, a shopping center on Cordova Bay Rd, Victoria, BC, Victoria’s world famous Butchart Gardens, and for shops on the BC Ferries. Pieces could be found in shops across western Canada.
Marks: inscribed, hand-scripted under glaze, stamped, hangtag, or any mark with a hangtag
Hangtag: shows woman at potter’s wheel – ‘Beautifully made on the Potterswheel by “Inéke” in Victoria B.C’
- Inéke Victoria B.C. Canada
- Handmade by INÉKE _ _ _ _ Victoria B.C. Canada
- Handmade by INÉKE _ _ _ _ Victoria B.C.
- Inéke Canada
- Handmade Inéke Mattick’s Farm Victoria BC [ink stamp]
Pottery Glaze info: Each pottery piece is unique, each has a unique glaze – no two glazes are alike
- Autumn glaze is known to be from 1972-73. Pumpkin and green, or green on caramel or sandstone.
- Cobalt blue glaze, script underglaze: Inéke Victoria BC Canada – 1991- [from CDR]
- Yellow with caramel glaze, square stamp: ‘Handmade by Inéke, Victoria, BC Canada’ – 2000 [from CDR]
- Yellow with black glaze
- Orange rust with black glaze (unusual)
- Green with darker green glaze
Shapes & Forms:
The very popular free-form ‘Baskets’ were made from the 1970s – 1980s, and can be found in all of the glaze colours.
Pin dishes can be found with and without the applied ‘dogwood’ flower, and in most glaze colours.
Table cruet sets include a tray, salt & pepper shakers, oil pitcher, and lidded mustard pot.
Cups (espresso) and mugs (coffee & chocolate) may have a cute little ‘water’ creature on the bottom – I have seen frogs and ducks nestled comfortably on the bottom of these cups.
Vases range in size from tiny to medium size (5″ tall), and can be found in most of the typical glaze colours. They may have a smooth rim or a ruffled rim.
Small handled jugs seem to be used interchangeably as creamers in a cream & open sugar set and as stand-alone sauce pitchers.
Breakfast or luncheon sets include 2 small mugs, 2 egg cup holders, 2 Candle holders, Sugar & Creamer, Cruet set, Vinegar bottle, Bud floater vase.
Sculptural piece, Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, Victoria, B.C. Canada. 3-1/2″ h, x 5-1/2″ l, x 2-1/2″ deep. Hand painted over incised lines – yellow roof, tan chimneys, grey stone, green grass base. (Fun, no doubt tourist, item.) Stamped mark: Made in Victoria, B.C. Canada. By Inéke (see Comment below).
Special thanks to Inéke’s children, David, Wendy and June, for providing information about her life.