Annette Hansen has also watched the area transform. Born in Denmark, she returned there to study ceramics after being raised in Canada. She’s owned the Cobalt Gallery and Clay Studio at 870a Kingston Rd. for the last 10 years.
It’s a colourful, quirky, cosy space, filled with functional art: hand-turned wooden pens, skinny conical candles in bright colours, ceramics (both her own and other artists), shapely pepper mills from of dyed veneered wood, textiles and pillows. One wall is devoted to visual art that changes monthly. The mix — and churn rate — is intentional.
“I like to change things frequently so it stays fresh,” says Hansen.
Still, pottery is closest to her heart.
“Clay is the one material that has been consistently used for thousands of years,” she says. “The aboriginals did ceramics and the Chinese did it and the East Indians did it and the South Americans did it — and nobody taught anybody initially. It’s as though it’s just part of us.”