Biography: Although best known as a ceramics artist, Alberta College of Art graduate (1969) Ted Diakow is also a graphic artist whose work is frequently abstract, composed with torn paper, collage, and even watercolour, and is occasionally woodcut print on rice paper. Speaking to his initial drives as a painter, Diakow says, “I was influenced by the ideas of the French Impressionists, particularly regarding the division of light on penetrable images.” His later printmaking influences included American Expressionism as a portal into “an abstract, inner world of freedom.”
Diakow produces practical and purely ornamental ceramics dazzled with rich colours and exotic glazes. He describes pottery as “a means to an end. That end is a sense of inner freedom and harmony, the successful union of all the various levels of [the artist’s] personality.” His subject matter ranges widely, though magnetised by a particular fascination with birds in flight, wild horses, and the wind upon the grasslands.
Several public collections house Diakow’s work, including those of the Calgary Allied Arts Foundation, Government House Foundation in Edmonton and the Massey Foundation in Toronto. Several Calgary corporate offices have commissioned work from Diakow, including Gulf Canada, Ocelot Industries (held in its Japanese branch), and Trizec. Diakow won the Pool Award at the All-Alberta Show (1963), and an Honourable Mention for the G.A. Reid Silver Memorial Award (1962).
Diakow taught at the University of Calgary (1975 – 1976), and at the Continuing Education Department of the Alberta College of Art (1974 – 1980). He lives in Kootenay, British Columbia.