Guelph Circa 1999 features a series of portraits commissioned by The Bookshelf and photographed by Dean Palmer. The series became part of Guelph Museums’ permanent collection in 2018.
Told through the stories of the people who spent time at The Bookshelf, a cultural hub in this city since 1973.
While the Museum remains open at this time for visitors to view the exhibit in person, we will be sharing some of the portraits for our digital visitors. Guelph Circa 1999 is on view at Guelph Civic Museum until September 6.
Jessica Steinhäuser is an award–winning ceramic artist who works on a grand scale, breathing new life into the ancient tradition of kachelöfen. Raised in Germany, Steinhäuser decided early in life to work with her hands, earning degrees from the State Schools for Art and Design in Nürnberg and for Ceramics in Landshut.
Steinhäuser immigrated to Canada at age 22, settling in Guelph. She established Stonehouse Pottery in 1989 and founded the annual Guelph Potters Market in 2005. Although she was a successful production potter, Steinhäuser dreamed of a more ambitious artistic goal: to popularize kachelöfen (German for “tiled stove”) in North America.
She created her first kachelöfen in 2008. Her massive, functional stoves combine vibrant colour, sophisticated lines, and an understanding of architectural structure. In 2011, Steinhäuser collaborated with Guelph illustrator Ryan Price on an exhibition titled “Oven of Fire and Myth” at the Macdonald Stewart Art Centre (now Art Gallery of Guelph). She has since created kachelöfen for homes all over the world.
In 2016, Steinhäuser received a Lifetime Achievement Award in the Trades and Labour category by Women of Distinction (YMCA-YWCA of Guelph). In 2019, on the 30th anniversary of her professional studio, Steinhäuser officially changed her business name from Stonehouse Pottery to Stone House Kachelöfen.
Photo: Jessica Steinhäuser, photographed at Stonehouse Pottery. Photo by Dean Palmer.