Made in Saskatchewan: Peter Rupchan, Ukrainian Pioneer and Potter

 Peter Rupchan: Ukrainian Pioneer and Potter

by Judith Silverthorne

“Innovative, eccentric and industrious, Peter Rupchan was more than just another pioneer trying to survive the hardships and personal tragedies of early settlement. Considered a folk hero by some, by others as a genius in his own time, Rupchan worked his clay with a passion, fulfilled a dream and left behind a meaningful historical legacy. It is this character and those experiences that Judith Silverthorne brings to life in this remarkable portrayal of his life.” (Book cover quote)

Born in Ukraine in 1883, Rupchan immigrated to Saskatchewan in 1905 to pursue a dream, and left behind a meaningful historical legacy.

He was one of the earliest potters in the province and the only one to travel with his wares. Innovative and industrious Rupchan use the local clay found on his farm to throw his pots, captured the wind to grind his clay and glazes, and utilized a variety of other natural means to produce what are today considered works of art.

Fluted Flower Pot

Fluted Flower Pot

Follow the adventurous life story of Peter Rupchan. Discover how, through his ingenuity and creativity, he was able to establish a viable pottery industry in the bleakest of times, overcoming numerous tragedies and disasters that plagued him until his untimely death in 1944. Learn why today his pottery is collected and displayed in galleries and museums throughout the country.

After three years of research and writing, focusing on the life of Peter Rupchan and reflecting on his life and the historical context of the times, it was fitting that Made in Saskatchewan: Peter Rupchan, Ukrainian Pioneer and Potter be published and released during the centennial years of Ukrainian settlement of Canada.

A docu-dram about Peter Rupchan was also produced, called, Rupchan: Spirit of a Prairie Potter.

Read an Excerpt from the book.

Saskatchewan NAC 2

Saskatchewan NAC – Rupchan

The book was published by Prairie Lily Co-operative Ltd. as a 96 page soft cover. It was reprinted in 2003 by Spiral Communications Inc. as a 108 page soft cover with ISBN 0-921435-04-5, and sold for $13.50 Cdn.

  • Made in Saskatchewan: Peter Rupchan, Ukrainian Pioneer and Potter. Prairie Lily Co-operative Ltd, 1991. Reprinted in 2003, by Spiral Communications Inc. Adult Non-Fiction. 921435-04-5, and sold for $13.50 Cdn.

Please note this book is no longer available from the publisher. A limited number of copies are available through Judith Silverthorne.


Links to interesting sites associated with Peter Rupchan:

Studio Ceramics Canada

Saskatchewan NAC artists

Narrative Threads