For Tina Oxer, throwing pottery is more than just an artistic endeavor — it’s a transformative experience. Literally.
“I love pottery because it’s such a tactile art form,” says Oxer, a member of the Greater Lansing Pottery Guild. “But there’s a magical quality about it as well. You knead the clay, you put it on the wheel and if it goes around right — and the clay gods are with you — you end up with a beautiful piece of art.”
Doesn’t she make it sound easy? However, if you want some imaginative clay bowls, dishes, mugs or figurines and don’t want to spend three days slaving over a hot kiln covered in mud, the guild’s Fall Sale and Show this weekend will probably get you fired up. For 43 years, the group has been holding the event, which benefits the group and allows them to invite world-class educators to lead them in special classroom sessions.
“It’s always interesting to see what other people are doing throughout the world,” Oxer says. “We recently had a famous potter from Wales who gave us a two-day seminar on throwing. It’s good because it inspires people to try different things and get out of their comfort zone.”
“Throwing” is a term used for making pottery. Oxer says that the sale is unique because everything sold is hand-done locally and individually crafted.
“These are works that are both functional and beautiful,” said Oxer. “And people just love to touch it. We give shoppers baskets to carry the pieces they’re going to buy, but you look around and see them carrying the pottery. They like to touch them, to see how they feel.”
If your eyes are glazing over at the thought of a dining ware overdose, Oxer says that some of the pottery leans more toward the artistic side. Guild member Pamela Timmons, who had a piece accepted into Grand Rapids’ ArtPrize contest this year, will have some of her work available. Oxer also points out members Wenfen Pan and Deb Olvia who also have been awarded for their work.
“This is a good group,” says Oxen. “We’ve got a lot of talent in the guild right now and the work they’re producing is some of the most beautiful pottery I’ve seen in the area.”
Fall Pottery Sale and Show
All Saints Episcopal Church
800 Abbot Road, East Lansing
5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday