Start your holiday shopping with a locally made pottery show in Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Looking for a unique holiday gift for that person on your list that is impossible to buy for? You might find a winning handmade gift at the West Michigan Potters Guild show this week.

The exhibit features more than 40 unique home-made ceramics from potters, ranging from functional tableware to works of art.

Organized at the cultural center of the Saint-Nicolas Orthodox Church, 2250 E. Paris Ave. SE, the show runs from noon to 7 p.m. on Friday, November 4 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 5.

“It’s a great show, we have an array of potters,” said Jamey Limbers, president of the West Michigan Potters Guild. “We have our traditional functional potters with plates, platters, bowls and pitchers, but you’ll also find ceramic tiles for fireplaces and backsplashes.”

Along with different types of pottery, many artists exhibit specialized styles of pottery. Some pottery was fired in gas or electric kilns, while other pieces require much more work.

“You’ll also find wood-fired pottery (at the show), said Chris Trabka, chair of the show. You don’t do this on your own, you have a team of people taking turns.

To make a good wood fire, pottery requires between six and eight cords of very dry wood, enough firewood to fill a 10 foot by 10 foot room.

Another popular style of pottery at the show is Raku firing, where red-hot pieces of pottery are exposed to flammable materials like newspaper or sawdust, then starved of oxygen to create unique glazing patterns. .

Being able to see so many styles and types of pottery all together is a highlight of the show for shoppers and potters alike.

“It’s not just the sense of community, but how differently everyone does it,” Trabka said. “Everyone has their own throwing methods, styles, enamels. A number of artists do fancy things, they just have fun doing them. Each piece has a story, so as you meet the artists you hear the stories about the pieces.

These personal stories that come with handmade items make great holiday gifts, Limbers said.

“I really hope people get back to the basics of making things with their hands,” he said. “It’s not just the season for giving, but there’s a conceptual idea of ​​giving that’s even more appropriate when you find something handcrafted by a local artist.”

More information about the Pottery Guild Fall Show is available online at westmichiganpottersguild.com. For more from the West Michigan Potters Guild, follow them on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

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