Carol Polonsky Froimovitch

Article written for The Low Down
May 4, 2005
published in Artists of the Gatineau Hills , 2007

Carol Polonsky Froimovitch, Creating Community

As a co-ordinator for “Art in the Village”, Carol Polonsky Froimovitch sends out the call. “Everyone is welcome. This is a wonderful opportunity – a non-juried show for artists and artisans to sell their handmade, original work. There are so many artists in Chelsea, working away in their little caves. This is a chance for them to be part of the essence of this community – to express the creative energy that defines these Hills. ”

Carol is not new to fostering community through the arts. A well-known potter, she has shared her passion for working in clay – through the Artists-in-the-School program at Chelsea Elementary, at Pierre Eliot Trudeau Elementary in Hull where she created a mural of ceramic tiles with the students, through workshops for homeschoolers or for Kingsmere Summer Camp, to the courses she taught at Dawson College in Montreal and Ottawa School of Art. With her sons grown, she has widened her field by earning a degree in Education. These days, if she is not in her studio, she can be found teaching Visual Arts in Ottawa area high schools.

Born and raised in Montreal, Carol found her artistic direction by pursuing what she loved. Initially at McGill in Science, she transferred into piano performance. Two years later she enrolled in Fine Arts at York University, to graduate in 1974. “I kept experimenting, looking for my path. I tried film, animation, piano performance, electronic music.” Yet always there was this mysterious attraction to clay. Whatever else she studied, Carol felt drawn to explore this hands-on medium – elemental clay, pottery, the marriage of earth, air, fire and water.

One summer she built and fired a raku kiln, an experience she never forgot. “I am sure that first taste of wood fire led me to what I do today – firing outdoors in a wood fire kiln. I longed to be totally absorbed in the fire of making – it is a kind of ecstasy to be out there feeding the fire all day. I lose all sense of time. I become the fire.”

She also produces sculptural pieces as well as architectural ceramics for fireplaces and indoor wall surfaces in bas-relief.

Married to Dr. Mark Froimovitch, Carol lived for a time in the Meech Creek Valley where they opened his first Veterinary clinic in 1979. Surrounded by nature, she raised her three boys and discovered that working in clay could encompass everything she loves – her family, her friends, her animals. Everyday events came alive through her hands.

“Creating these vessels is a kind of love-making. There is a dialogue in every pot, every cup – a story that gets carried out into the world. This is human touch, not machine made. With my pottery I make things for people, to answer their needs. I put my spirit into each piece, then it goes on its journey. I want other artists to join me – to share their creative spirit, to enrich our community.”

Carol Polonsky Froimovitch Ceramic canisters, mugs and bowl

Carol Polonsky Froimovitch
Ceramic canisters, mugs and bowl