Barran-Stec, Irene

Artist Biography:

Born in Poland, studied art and art history in Italy and England, graduating in Costume Design and Illustration from the Croydon  School of Art, Croydon, England. While in England became interested in clay, an interest that continued throughout a decades long career as an artist, designer, manufacturer and businessperson. Considering retirement, decided on a change of career, built a ceramic studio in the township of Georgina on Lake Simcoe, and continued living and working there for eighteen years. Presently living in Toronto, working from a studio in the Village of Caledon East.

My work in clay takes two directions. Because I use both earthenware and porcelain, the differences inherent in those materials inspire different ideas. The earthenware pieces are strong, solid and invite darker colors in decoration. Porcelain however, by its very nature more exotic, inspires work that is lighter, more playful, even whimsical. The material touches the imagination and guides the hand.

I find endless sources of inspiration in nature, with its multitude of shapes and colors and the feeling of constant change and motion.

Working with clay fascinates me, its starting point so fundamental, earth, water, fire. For me, this base, common material transformed into a thing of beauty or usefulness, holds satisfaction offered by no other.


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