A variety of decorative and useful pottery by 35 local potters will be on sale at the Greater Lansing Potters’ Guild Spring Sale, which begins Thursday, April 28, and runs through Saturday, April 30.
All Saints Episcopal Church will host the sale that includes functional pottery, jewelry, sculpted pottery and wall hangings. Charlie Seebeck, a GLPG member, shared that it is a” huge” sale, with pottery filling the room. Most of the items for sale are functional pottery, which includes bowls, mugs, and plates. The Guild has never run out of pieces during a sale, said Seebeck. “New pottery is put out at the start of each sale day.”
Founded in 1969, the GLPG is a cooperative nonprofit with a working studio in Haslett. Adult students can take classes and workshops taught by Master of Fine Arts graduates, including some from MSU. The classes take place four times a year and are ten weeks long. Registration for the next series begins on May 16, and the class runs from June 13 through August 15. There is a daytime and evening option to pick from.
Barb Sears, another member, has been potting since the 1980’s and her pieces have evolved over the years. A retired MSU professor, Sears always knew pottery would be no more than a hobby for her. For years while she was still working, she focused on functional pottery and has a love of making mugs. Each piece provides an opportunity to practice skills such as attaching handles and trimming down the pottery and, according to Sears, “to get good is to make a lot.”
Since retiring, Sears has spent more time exploring her creativity and has expanded to sculptural pieces including reliefs. Recently, she began incorporating drawings of cats on porcelain into her creations, all of which are blue. “My intention is to succeed by trying different things.” Sears said, adding that her new work has been encouraged by her Guild peers. She has enjoyed combining the art of drawing with “the craft of pottery”.
In order to be included in the sale, a potter needs to make at least 50 pieces of pottery, according to Sears, “It gives us goals.” A percentage of each sale goes to the individual potter and the remaining amount is allocated to The Guild. Seebeck is one of the members that creates on a level of “production pottery.” A potter is considered a “productive” potter if they produce a “minimum of 300 pieces for each sale,” Sears said.
The GLPG has another sale planned for early November. The Spring sale is usually held within a couple of weeks before Mother’s Day. According to their website, a gift certificate can be purchased if picking a piece of pottery is too daunting for a gift-giver.
The upcoming Be a Tourist in Your Own Town on June 4, 2016 is one of the only times that the Guild’s working studio is open to the public. The Guild also takes part in the Greater Lansing Food Bank’s Empty Bowls fundraiser. This event takes place every year in October. People pay for a simple meal of soup and bread and get to pick out a bowl to keep. Guild potters, along with Clayworks Pottery, donate bowls for the event.
Sears looks forward to each sale and seeing all the pottery together despite “see(ing) pieces dribbling out of the kiln all year.”
The GLPG Spring Sale days and times are:
Thursday, April 28: 5:30 p.m.-9:00p.m.
Friday, April 29: 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
Saturday, April 30: 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
All Saints Episcopal Church is located at 800 Abbot Rd, in East Lansing,