Thursday evening, I will be participating in one of my favorite 'sales' of the year. Its a time when many of the Williamstown/North Adams area potters and ceramic artists get together to breathe a collective sigh of relief that the hectic holiday shopping season is coming to a close, most of our packages have been mailed, and the kilns have been turned off.
It is with much joy that I get to line up my pots with those of my friends in this biz and invite our community to come see what we've been up to for the past year. The artists in our group are diverse; from those that make functional work to those that concentrate on decorative or sculptural works. Collectively, our pieces are made of low fire earthenware, medium temperature stoneware, and high fire porcelain. We work in our own studios, or community studios or we share space. We use electric (oxidation) kilns and gas (reduction) firing. We mix up glazes and paint and etch and dip and pour to bring out a surface that sets off the form just so.
What we have in common is our love of this magical, sometimes maddening material that we throw or sculpt or carve or stamp or roll into the forms that we hope are beautiful, useful, and thought-provoking.
At times our pieces crack, or the glazes act in ways we weren't expecting, or some other disaster befalls our work. We learn, we adapt, and we start again.
Our tradition of coming together like this is relatively new. This is only year 2. But we have already grown from 7 makers last year to 9 this year.
We are all so excited to get together to talk about our work with each other and with you. We are immeasurably grateful to our local community that supports our work through their purchases and interest, for the shops and galleries that carry our work, for holiday market and craft fair organizers the provide us venues, for event managers or restaurants that highlight our pots in their spaces or host events such as this, for our 'online' community that reaches out to us from afar, for our family and friends that cheer us on, and for our each other for feedback, advice, laughter, commiseration, and cheer.
If it weren't for all of you, there wouldn't be all of us.
In the spirit of 'giving back' some of the proceeds of our sales will be headed to local non-profits - Berkshire Immigration Center, Planned Parenthood and the Oak Hill Children's Center in Pownal, Vt.
I hope you can stop by, we’ll be at Hops and Vines, Water St. Williamstown, 4-8pm, December 15.