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Rupchan Pottery

Curated Submission
Endeavour, Saskatchewan
Early-20th century
DIMENSIONS in centimetres
14.7 x 28.5
Materials & techniques
Clay; Hand-thrown
Made by Peter Rupchan
Saskatchewan Western Development Museum WDM-2005-S-679
While Peter Rupchan was apprenticing as a potter in Ukraine, his family immigrated to Canada and settled on the prairies. In 1905 Rupchan followed, settling in the Endeavour-Usherville area of Saskatchewan’s parkland at the age of 21. Later that year Rupchan married Safta Safruk, from Canora. Neither a natural farmer nor greatly interested in agriculture, he and Safta moved six times from homestead to homestead before finally “proving up,” or gaining title to the land. Rupchan’s true passion was pottery, an unusual interest in Saskatchewan at that time. Determined to pursue his craft, he spent two years searching for the right clay soil.
Rupchan built his own pottery wheel and a wood-fired earthen kiln. He created his own glazes from glass salvaged from the dump and a windmill to power a machine to grind the glass. Rupchan’s reputation as a skilled potter grew. He often made traditional Eastern European pottery styles. Catering to his Ukrainian neighbours, he made specialized goods such as “makitras,” used to grind and crush poppy seeds, popular in traditional Ukraine cooking. A well-known figure in the area, Rupchan made his rounds from farm to farm, town to town peddling his wares. He often told stories as he pitched his bowls, crocks, flowerpots, plates, cups, whistles, and more from a loaded cart. Rupchan died in 1944 following a logging accident.
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