A Little Bit About Briege
After a spell in the Social Work field, Newfoundland born and raised Briege became completely disenchanted, coming to learn that the helping career she’d felt called to do was part of a system that would make it almost impossible for her to effectively change anything.
"The system felt broken ... and it left me broken. I knew there had to be a better way to help and heal."
She walked away from that career with the aftereffects of vicarious trauma, a heaviness in her heart, and a belief that in order to change the world, you have to start at home.
So Briege returned home ... to the east coast with her husband, and crawled her way out of the darkness through creating art. Beautiful art. Colourful art. Vibrant pieces that soothed her soul, calmed her spirit and comforted her like a soft warm blanket. Luckily for her, she was raised in a family that fostered her creative growth as a visual artist and recording artist.
Almost immediately after landing on PEI soil, Briege was heavily drawn to pottery, and soon discovered that she was a 10th generation potter with a lineage that goes back to the early 1600's in Ireland.
"I can remember going for a hike on the Appalachian Trail in Dromore back in 2014 and seeing this rich red gooey clay. I vividly recall the silky nature of the sediment and how therapeutic it was for me to hold it against my skin. It was so calming, natural and second nature. I showed it to a Mi'Kmaq elder and discovered that it was pure Red Ochre. It was at that precise moment that I KNEW I was going to become a full fledged potter."
In 2017, Briege opened a micro shop in Morell, called Ebb and Flow PEI, and visitors delighted in chatting with her, feeling drawn to pieces, hugging them close to their hearts and talking about how they made them feel at peace.
Eventually, Briege would come to learn that there was something to her long-held belief that art is medicine. And she had an epiphany. While she could never clearly articulate why she is compelled to create the pieces that she does, she realized:
“I’m making the art I needed when I was in that dark place.” She learned that her art not only grounds her and keeps her in the light, but it also does the same for the people who buy it.
The name Ebb and Flow holds great meaning for Briege and is a metaphor for the way her life has gone. It’s about riding out the waves of life and is a reminder that the lower the ebb, the greater the flow. That we are put through trials in our lives by the creator to make us resilient. This is how we were designed. Everything happens for a reason, and we must endure the lessons to gain the wisdom.
"Sometimes life will throw circumstances at you that will shake you and break you to your knees. Just know that if you keep standing, set healthy boundaries, lead with your heart, your empathy and your intuition, you will never be led astray."
Briege believes we all have the power to change the world in our own little ways. And that if we change our minds, we can change our lives and the lives of others.
Art. Briege values the transformative and healing power of art. She could never stick to creating one product line or one type of mug. She goes with the flow and whatever comes out, comes out.
Connection and Care. Briege highly values her connection with her soul, her purpose, her customers, her community, her ancestors, her planet, and her creator. We are all one, after all.
Nature. From the beautiful, gnarly dead trees at the back of her property to the reflection of a mountain in a lake, Briege values the untamed beauty, serenity, and power of nature.
Give Back Cause
Briege is passionate about empowering woman, especially rural seniors. She recently won a $25,000 government contract from The Friends of the Morell Library to teach pottery to seniors in her 1700 square foot pottery studio in Canavoy, PEI. She loves the high vibing and resilient spirit of the seniors and hopes to continue to work with them in the pottery field for years to come!