Pottery makers potting seeds of culture
By Victor Martisius
Culture, family and passion are the driving forces behind Cindy Henhawk and her partner in pottery Judi Henhawk Sault’s business, Anthony Pottery.
“I don’t just love it, it’s a part of me. It’s me.” said Cindy, the owner and founder of Santhony Pottery.
Santhony Pottery of Six Nations is dead set on furthering the legacy of indigenous culture through their traditional handcrafted pieces. They mix passion and talent to create functional works of art ranging anywhere from cream and sugar sets to seed pots as well as vases and various containers.
Their pieces are all one of a kind, handcrafted and detailed using tools they make themselves and are definitely hard to miss.
“The tools that we have, they have to be made,” she said. “You can’t buy them.”
Santhony Pottery has caught attention both nationally and internationally having their art exported to countries such as Germany, Australia, Japan and England as well as all across Canada even being displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM).
“When I first started I named my pottery Eagle Spirit and that’s when the ROM came in and said ‘Cindy we want to do an art gallery surrounding your pottery name Eagle Spirit’,” Cindy said.
Her pottery was on display with some of Six Nations’ finest artists.
“I changed [the name] because people kept thinking I was saying Evil Spirit. So I thought ‘what am I going to name my pottery to have it mean something,’ so Santhony came about.
Family values are priority number one for Santhony Pottery and it all starts with the name.
“It’s Santhony because my husbands name is Anthony and if my son was a girl he would have been Santhony but he was a boy so his name’s Anthony,” explains Cindy. “It’s the girl version of Anthony and it’s my granddaughters middle name now.”
Through pottery they are able to teach skills, indigenous culture and offer something to take home after all is said and done.
“[Learning how to make pottery] lets people know who we are,” she said. “You can actually see it. If [the pottery] is sitting right in front of you, you can see it and it reinforces [the lessons],” added Henhawk Sault.
You can find Santhony Pottery on Facebook and purchase their work on Ebay or you can catch them throughout the year set up at various Pow Wows. Check them out.