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40 years: Rooted together in clay

Nine local potters and two guest potters will have a variety of functional and decorative ceramic pieces for sale.

Submitted

The Potters' Guild of Wayne County is going back to its roots. Forty years ago the guild held its first pottery sale at the College of Wooster’s art center, and this year they will return to the college venue.
 
Their holiday sale will be held Friday, Nov. 17 from noon to 8 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mackey Hall. Guild member Carol Roger said the move ensures adequate parking for all guests because the date coincides with Window Wonderland downtown.
 
Nine local potters and two guest potters will have a variety of functional and decorative ceramic pieces for sale. “It’s a great place to find handmade, one-of-a-kind ceramic gems, just in time for Christmas,” said Roger, a founding member of the guild. “All our glazes are food safe and lead free.”
 
Guest potters will be Don Snyder and Sandy Overholt of Dragon Fly Pottery. Guild members became acquainted with them at the Quailcrest Herb Fair this spring and were impressed with their work and personas.
 
“They threw great bowls,” Roger said, “and we found them to be very like-minded artists. They’re both down-to-earth, clay-under-your-fingernails type of people, just like us. So we invited them to join us.”
 
The annual event is a way for customers to connect with the artists. “We all sign up for shifts, but most of us stay the whole time,” Roger said. “We get to talking with customers and each other, and it’s just a whole lot of fun.”
 
While most of the pieces are classified as “functional,” one potter is a bit more “whimsical,” Roger said. Mike Peterson specializes in decorative pottery including miniature snowmen, trees, nativity scenes and other “whimsies."
 
"They really are unique and the backbone of his business," Roger said.
 
This year the guild, in conjunction with Westminster Church, will give 10 percent of the proceeds to Habitat for Humanity.
 
Roger said the guild has long been a supporter of the community on many levels. Wayne Center for the Arts has been a beneficiary for years. In addition to providing volunteers for their events, the guild donated a kiln and slab roller to the organization.
 
Their holiday sales also have supported the center in the past. The guild has been part of the Empty Bowls Fundraiser and looks to be part of a similar event in the future. “Maybe with coffee mugs instead of bowls,” Roger said. “We’re still brainstorming.”
 
While it feels good to give back to the community, Roger explained the real reason the guild has been around for decades. “We are rooted together in clay,” Roger said. “Working with clay is so therapeutic. Many of us do it to relax. We’re just a group of like-minded folks who like to get together and discuss clay and eat.”
 
Guild members include founding members Roger and Nancy Webb, Suzzanne Kouris, Peterson, Rhonda Shultzman, Linda Pattin, Monica Bongue, Rhiannon Diehl and Jamie Lenhart.
 
Mackey Hall is located at Westminster Presbyterian Church at 353 E. Pine St. in Wooster.
 

Published: November 10, 2017
New Article ID: 2017171109918