News from the Maine Potters Market

Pretty and Practical:
New Collection of Useful Pots by Cathy Schroeder Hammond

For the month of November, Maine Potters Market Cathy Soap pumpfeatures new work by Cathy Schroeder Hammond. Some of Cathy's favorite artwork and pottery are kept in the bathroom and kitchen. It makes sense - she likes seeing those pieces in the places she frequents every day. With this in mind Cathy created a limited edition of pieces meant to be used in those spaces. Included in the collection are sponge holders, candle holders, toothbrush holders, soap dishes, ring and earring holders, soap pumps, scented wax burners, shaving mugs, and more.

Color is a major focus of Cathy's work. New customers often comment on the unusual colors she uses.This new work continues to feature her colorful glazes and nature-themed decoration, as she strives to make these often-asked-for items beautiful additions to useful spaces.

ABOUT CATHY SCHROEDER HAMMOND – Cathy has been making pottery in Maine since 1987. Formerly named Pasture's Edge Studio. With this work, Cathy introduces her new studio name, Brave Heart Clay Works. This name has personal significance for Cathy, who hopes we can all understand the need to be brave in our lives, in the face of hardships when they come, but also to bravely carry our beliefs with us, and to be brave enough to conquer new challenges and follow where our hearts lead.

Dark and Light:
Pots by Betsy Levine

For the month of October, Maine Potters Market Betsy's bowlsfeatures the work of Betsy Levine, of Prescott Hill Pottery. Betsy's pots employ both the dark and varied tones of wood-fired stoneware and the bright and pebbled surfaces of soda-fired porcelain. She also juxtaposes the warmth of soda-glazed bare stoneware with luscious glazes softened by the atmosphere in the kiln.

Betsy's pots are organic and earthy; her forms are simple, yet graceful, revealing the complex surfaces resulting from the interaction of clay and fire. Betsy's pots are made to be used, admired and loved. They may look like works of art but they can go from table to dishwasher and be used and enjoyed every day.

ABOUT BETSY LEVINE – Betsy moved to Maine in 2005, built her soda kiln and established Prescott Hill Pottery in Liberty. She makes useful pots (tableware, storage jars and vases) as well as evocative vessels in high-fire stoneware and porcelain. Betsy's work reflects her long-time interest in artifacts, in ancient historical records, symbols on bowls, marks on tablets, and the very earliest impulses to put our 'prints on the sands of time.'

Bowl: The Essential Pot
Work by Elizabeth Louden

For the month of September, Maine Potters Market Elizabeth's bowlsfeatures porcelain bowls by Elizabeth Louden.

Bowls are the most basic and versatile of all vessels. Whether serving as the centerpiece of a dinner, cradling hot oatmeal on a cold Maine morning, holding jewelry on a dresser, or simply sitting on a bookshelf as a decorative object, bowls are everywhere in our lives. The simplest daily rituals are elevated when we choose to use objects of beauty and fine craftsmanship. Elizabeth's contemporary, colorful work is intended to be incorporated into everyday life.

ABOUT ELIZABETH LOUDEN – Elizabeth is a Portland native, who currently works out of Sawyer Street Studios in South Portland. Inspired by a wide range of historical ceramics, she explores pattern and color in surface design, while making elegantly crafted, yet eminently functional pieces.

Celebrating Farm to Table:
New Work by Rebecca May Verrill

For the month of July, Maine Potters Market features new work by member Rebecca May Verrill. This charming line of illustrative, functional earthenware celebrates farms and food, and the hard work that goes along with it. Cups, bowls and plates are adorned with individually drawn and carved chickens and tractors, smiling pigs, plants and vegetables and a variety of farming and gardening implements. This cast of characters on Rebecca’s new pots inspired by the Maine farming and gardening community will be sure to find a special place in people’s hearts, hands and homes.

farm cups

Rebecca’s work is wheel thrown and trimmed, decorated with slips and underglazes, coated with food safe glazes and fired in an electric kiln. She chooses to work with earthenware as a material choice that aligns with her concern for reducing energy consumption.  A percentage of locally harvested clay from the region is mixed into each batch of clay that she uses.

ABOUT REBECCA MAY VERRILL -- Rebecca’s studio is based in the East Bayside neighborhood of Portland at Running with Scissors Art Studios. For more information about Rebecca and her work check out www.rebeccamayverrill.com,  or follow Rebecca May Verrill Ceramics on Facebook  or Instagram @rebeccamayverrill


Nancy working

50 Years and Counting:
An Ode to Clay by Nancy Button

For the month of June, Maine Potters Market is featuring work by long-time member Nancy Button of Fireside Pottery. The first clay that Nancy worked with was an earthy stoneware, and every winter she returns to its warm hues and building ease from the porcelain that has become her trademark. “Working with stoneware feels like returning to the original source," Nancy explains.

Nancy has always been interested in texture and patterns, and this winter’s quiet time gave her ample opportunity to further explore these elements. By squaring pieces that are traditionally round, she creates four “panels“ that are then textured. By making a recessed bottom in many of these slab built pieces, she’s able to cut subtle “feet” that animate the forms. “When I’m designing, I am actively problem solving and thinking about detail in a way that allows other concerns to drop away” Nancy commented.  “It is my hope that these pots will find their ways into the hearts and homes of people, enhancing the daily rituals of their lives.” 

ABOUT NANCY BUTTON - Nancy Button’s mother found her passion for potting when Nancy was in her early teens, and clay has been Nancy's partner and teacher for 50 years. Not only did she have a studio, kiln and teacher through her mother, but Nancy lived with pots handmade by many different potters. This showed her that there is always a new approach or design waiting to be explored with clay. This constant refreshing keeps what she does from becoming repetitive, even when she is repeating forms. “There is a liveliness that comes through the clay if you can just get out of the way,” Nancy says.


Robbi New mugs

Woodland Animals!
New work by Robbi Fritz Portela

For the month of May, Maine Potters Market is featuring new work by Robbi Fritz Portela. Robbi is well known for her decorated stoneware pottery enlivened with a variety of brightly painted whimsical farm animals and wild creatures, from hedgehogs to ravens. 

On their farm in Windsor Maine Robbi and her family rehabilitate wildlife on a small scale and have over the years helped to reintroduce skunks, raccoons, squirrels and porcupines back into their natural environments. Living near the Maine woods also gives Robbi many opportunities to view all the amazing wild life. Her clay work reflects her love of all animals! This month Robbi is highlighting some new designs in her woodland animal series. 

ABOUT ROBBI FRITZ PORTELA - Robbi has been working with clay since she was 13. Her clay obsession led to art school and then to her own studio in the ell of her 200 year old farm house. She loves to work in stoneware and makes pieces that are both fun and functional. Her work reflects all the years of living and working on a small farm in both New Hampshire and later in her present home of Windsor, Maine where she is constantly inspired by the animals around her on her farm and in the surrounding countryside.


Susan dory

The flotilla has docked!
Coastal Treasures by Susan Horowitz

For the month of March, Maine Potters Market celebrates the return of Susan Horowitz’s popular Double Dip Dinghies. Susan lives and works in Harpswell, which boasts 216 miles of shoreline—the longest of any town in Maine. Her studio looks out over dinghies, sail boats, working lobster boats, and even cruise ships making their way to and from Portland. 

Dinghies are great for serving dips and snacks, but Susan says there is a use for a Dinghy in every room: Paper Clips & Rubber Bands in the office, Food & Water for your ocean loving kitty, Potpourri & Soap in the bath, Shells & Sea Glass and other treasures on the coffee table. 

Glazed in the colors of the sea, these Dinghies will remind you of summer in Maine all year long. They’re a-dory-able!

ABOUT SUSAN HOROWITZ –  Since 1970, Susan Horowitz of Ash Cove Pottery in Harpswell has been hooked on the magic of taking a lump of earth, "pulling" it into a cylinder and shaping it into a vessel on the potters wheel. She strives to make functional pots that work well and feel good to use. The clay itself inspires her forms, which change slightly with each throwing cycle, becoming clearer and bolder like a photo coming into focus. Her inscribed and brushwork decorations are based on the patterns left in the sand by the receding tide.


David Hale Bopp

The Beauty of the Night Sky: Porcelain pottery by David Orser

For the month of December, Maine Potters Market features David Orser's bowls and vases depicting galaxies, comets, planets and constellations in cobalt blue inlaid slip decoration. 

David explains: "I was inspired initially by reading of the depiction of an astronomical event on an ancient Native American Mimbre bowl made in 1054 A.D. The image was of a 23 pointed star next to their symbol for the moon, a rabbit. Archeoastronomers believe that (according to ancient Chinese documents) this depicts what was a super nova that was visible for 23 days in the daytime sky, the remnants of which are what we now see as the crab nebula. I went looking for good imagery back in 1997 and the skies were graced with appearance of a once in a lifetime event. Comet Hyakutake surpassed in size and brightness any of the minor comets visible in my short lifetime.  Then, the very next year we got Comet Hale-Bopp. Wow! At the time I lived in the city and had to drive a ways to dark skies. I'm glad that I did. I will never forget the view. I chose a cobalt blue slip inlaid porcelain for it’s ability to nicely render precise lines for the constellations and it’s midnight deep blue. Where we live now the dark sky is full of the stars every clear night. Who knows what we will see next."

ABOUT DAVID ORSER –  David Orser is one half of Cedar Mountain Potters, the husband and wife team of Laurel MacDuffie and David. They have been working in their studio at their 1800’s era farm in Parsonsfield, Maine since 1999. David has been making pottery and sculpture for more than thirty years. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree at Cranbrook Art Academy. His work has been exhibited nationally and is in numerous private collections.

Rebecca pots

Contemporary Handmade Earthenware by Rebecca May Verrill

For the month of November, Maine Potters Market features the new work of Rebecca May Verrill. Rebecca creates a diverse line of graphic, cheerful, contemporary handmade earthenware pots adorned with abstracted leaves, dots and prints, which are bound to brighten up any room. Designed to be mixed and matched, Rebecca’s cups, bowls and plates are truly one of a kind and aren’t likely to match the drapes. These contemporary pots are a departure from traditional crockery one might expect to find at a New England Thanksgiving table. Rebecca feels that life is too short to play it safe and serious with solid colors and matching dinner sets. She hopes for people to mix it up, have fun, and make some new traditions for the years to come!

ABOUT REBECCA MAY VERRILL –  Inspired by organic plant life set against the rigidity of a metropolitan landscape; the determination of plant life to thrive and succeed through brick and stone, Rebecca’s signature abstract plant designs are individually cut out by hand for use as stencils, then layered, carved and often further embellished with water etching, masking, various printmaking techniques, dots and screen printed imagery.  She hopes that those who use her work will enjoy it as much as she has enjoyed creating it. To find out more about Rebecca and her Portland studio please visit www.rebeccamayverrill.com.

Susan dory

The flotilla has docked!
New dories by Susan Horowitz

For the month of September, Maine Potters Market celebrates the return of Susan Horowitz’s popular Double Dip Dinghies. 

Susan lives and works in Harpswell, which boasts 216 miles of shoreline—the longest of any town in Maine. Her studio looks out over dinghies, sail boats, working lobster boats, and even cruise ships making their way to and from Portland. 


Dinghies are great for serving dips and snacks, but Susan says there is a use for a Dinghy in every room: Paper Clips & Rubber Bands in the office, Food & Water for your ocean loving kitty, Potpourri & Soap in the bath, Shells & Sea Glass and other treasures on the coffee table. 


Glazed in the colors of the sea, these Dinghies will remind you of summer in Maine all year long. They’re a-dory-able!


ABOUT SUSAN HOROWITZ –  Since 1970, Susan Horowitz of Ash Cove Pottery in Harpswell has been hooked on the magic of taking a lump of earth, "pulling" it into a cylinder and shaping it into a vessel on the potters wheel. She strives to make functional pots that work well and feel good to use. The clay itself inspires her forms, which change slightly with each throwing cycle, becoming clearer and bolder like a photo coming into focus. Her inscribed and brushwork decorations are based on the patterns left in the sand by the receding tide.


Neal pots

Autumn Leaves: Pots by Neal Loken

For the month of October, Maine Potters Market features the work of Neal Loken. Neal has been a potter for about 45 years. He studied pottery and learned to throw on the wheel  from Hitomi Masatugi, a Japanese potter in Kyoto Japan in 1971. In the year in Japan, his teacher concentrated on teaching about nine shapes, beginning with small saki cups and tea cups and working up to larger forms such as bowls, teapots and pitchers. Neal learned a rigorous standard  for example, one would take ten mugs.  Put bottoms of two together so they matched and  put their tops together so they matched. Then line up ten mugs in a row and lay a stick across all so that it touched each cup.Neal mixes his own clay and glazes from recipes he has collected and adjusted over the years. Some years ago, he started adding maple leaves (silver maple and sugar maple) to the clay surface which burn off in the first firing before the pottery is glazed. Tiny variables in clay, glaze ingredients, thinness or thickness of the glaze and even weather conditions can affect the final results.  This all keeps pottery production interesting and challenging.



Susan dory

The flotilla has docked!
New dories by Susan Horowitz

For the month of September, Maine Potters Market celebrates the return of Susan Horowitz’s popular Double Dip Dinghies. 

Susan lives and works in Harpswell, which boasts 216 miles of shoreline—the longest of any town in Maine. Her studio looks out over dinghies, sail boats, working lobster boats, and even cruise ships making their way to and from Portland. 


Dinghies are great for serving dips and snacks, but Susan says there is a use for a Dinghy in every room: Paper Clips & Rubber Bands in the office, Food & Water for your ocean loving kitty, Potpourri & Soap in the bath, Shells & Sea Glass and other treasures on the coffee table. 


Glazed in the colors of the sea, these Dinghies will remind you of summer in Maine all year long. They’re a-dory-able!


ABOUT SUSAN HOROWITZ –  Since 1970, Susan Horowitz of Ash Cove Pottery in Harpswell has been hooked on the magic of taking a lump of earth, "pulling" it into a cylinder and shaping it into a vessel on the potters wheel. She strives to make functional pots that work well and feel good to use. The clay itself inspires her forms, which change slightly with each throwing cycle, becoming clearer and bolder like a photo coming into focus. Her inscribed and brushwork decorations are based on the patterns left in the sand by the receding tide.


Elizabeth pots

Celebrating Daily Ritual:
New Work by Elizabeth Louden

For the month of August, Maine Potters Market features new work by Elizabeth Louden. Her richly colored porcelain pieces are both functional and decorative, and are very much intended for daily use.  

"Day to day life is filled with a series of mundane interactions between people and objects.  Most things today are produced as quickly and cheaply as possible, with little attention to quality, ethics or aesthetics.  It is easy to quantify some of the harm, such as a toll on the environment and labor conditions. Some are harder – how does it affect one’s well-being to live in an environment devoid of beauty? Objects have the power to enrich our lives. They help us savor experiences and offer a bridge to our physical world." 

"I make craft objects because I am intrigued by the relationship between form and function. All of my pieces are intended to be touched and used. I want people to take an extra moment in the morning to enjoy their coffee, holding, in their hands, a mug intentionally and caringly made by two other human hands. I want the most routine part of their day to become a more joyful and connecting experience through their simple interaction with a piece. This both elevates the ordinary to the ritual and brings the ritual to the tangible level of daily life." -- Elizabeth Louden


ABOUT ELIZABETH LOUDEN - Elizabeth is a potter based out of Portland, Maine. She attended Union College and the University of Southern Maine, where she graduated in 2011 with a BA in Art History and German. It was during her undergraduate studies that she became enamored of the philosophies of the Arts & Crafts movement and the Wiener Werkstätte; she hasn’t looked back. 


Betsy Soda fired Platter

Atmospheric Firing: Pottery by Betsy Levine of Prescott Hill Pottery

For the month of July, Maine Potters Market is featuring the work of Betsy Levine. Betsy's pots are organic and earthy, with a sensuality that comes mostly from the materials she choses and the atmospheric firing techniques that she uses. Her forms are simple, yet graceful, revealing the complex surfaces resulting from the interaction of clay and fire.  

Two different firing methods create a complementary body of work. The wood fired pots are fired for 8 days, allowing fly ash, coals, and the strokes of the flame itself to caress the pots and create unique surfaces in a beautiful range of natural color, from blacks, browns and purples to oranges, golds and pale pearly greasy. The soda fired pots show off the natural colors of the clay itself played against restrained use of glaze which reacts with the soda atmosphere to produce subtle changes in light reflectivity and color variation. 

Betsy's pots are made to be used, admired and loved. They may look like works of art but they can go from table to dishwasher and be used and enjoyed every day.


ABOUT BETSY LEVINE –  Betsy moved to Maine in 2005, built her kiln and established Prescott Hill Pottery in Liberty. She makes useful pots (tableware, storage jars and vases) as well as evocative vessels in high-fire stoneware and porcelain, firing most of the pots in her gas-fired soda kiln, and twice a year with a group of potters in a week-long wood firing. Betsy's work reflects her long-time interest in artifacts, in ancient historical records, symbols on bowls, marks on tablets, and the very earliest impulses to put our 'prints on the sands of time.' 

Robbi Lobsta Mug

New Work by Robbi Fritz Portela


For the month of June, Maine Potters Market is featuring new work by Robbi Fritz Portela. Robbi is well known for her decorated stoneware pottery enlivened with a variety of brightly painted whimsical farm animals and wild creatures, from hedgehogs to ravens. This spring, she has been experimenting with sgrafitto to enhance her designs. Sgrafitto is a decorating technique in which layers of contrasting colored slips are applied to the clay and then designs or marks are carved through to reveal parts of the underlying color.  The colored slips react with each other, making new colors and patterns, and the carving process gives her well-loved designs a wonderful new feeling of depth and brightness.

ABOUT ROBBI FRITZ PORTELA –  Robbi has been working with clay since she was 13.Her clay obsession led to art school and then to her own studio in the ell of her 200 year old farm house. She loves to work in stoneware and makes pieces that are both fun and functional. Her work reflects all the years of living and working on a small farm in both New Hampshire and later in her present home of Windsor, Maine where she is constantly inspired by the animals around her on her farm and in the surrounding countryside.



Laurel's Cool Cups

New Work by Laurel MacDuffie


For the month of May, Maine Potters Market is featuring new work by Laurel MacDuffie. Feeling the need for some quiet this winter, Laurel has created a body of meaty, simple forms whose only adornment is the subtle color variations created by salt and flame. Without the covering of glaze, marks left on the pot as it was made provide a different kind of surface. The finished pot becomes less about decoration, more about process, more about story. These pots are about the facts, unconcealed. No politics, no backpedaling, no campaign horse hockey, no hairspray.   

Laurel is also featuring her “cool cups”. Of these unique pots Laurel says, “when the predictability of production starts to take its toll, I like to play with the form of the cup.  I enjoy challenging the known world of functional pottery.  I want these cups to be successfully functional, but also odd, surprising, and even silly.  I make them in limited edition, as time allows, and I make them to please myself.   And because they are not practiced, they embody elements of imperfection and question, qualities I very much appreciate in a handmade object.”

 ABOUT LAUREL MACDUFFIE –  Probably the best thing her parents ever did was refuse to own a television. While she sadly missed seeing one giant leap for mankind, she learned from the start how to use her imagination and make beautiful things.  In 2012 she was able to finally put those skills to the test and rely solely on her two hands to support herself.  She joined her husband, David Orser, as a full time potter in their small studio, Cedar Mountain Potters, where they shuffle carefully in small paths around stacks of clay, filling their shelves to the gills. In her pots she likes to incorporate seemingly opposing qualities, such as sturdy and tender, sensuous and hard, expected and surprising. Laurel's pots are high fired in a salt kiln.  Salt firing is a labor-intensive process that gives unique and beautiful results. You may see small dots on the pots that are left by the tiny balls of wadding that must be used to prevent pots from sticking.  All pots are dishwasher and microwave safe.  Some forms may be used in the oven if special care instructions are followed.


Laurel's Cool Cups

New Work by Laurel MacDuffie


For the month of May, Maine Potters Market is featuring new work by Laurel MacDuffie. Feeling the need for some quiet this winter, Laurel has created a body of meaty, simple forms whose only adornment is the subtle color variations created by salt and flame. Without the covering of glaze, marks left on the pot as it was made provide a different kind of surface. The finished pot becomes less about decoration, more about process, more about story. These pots are about the facts, unconcealed. No politics, no backpedaling, no campaign horse hockey, no hairspray.   

Laurel is also featuring her “cool cups”. Of these unique pots Laurel says, “when the predictability of production starts to take its toll, I like to play with the form of the cup.  I enjoy challenging the known world of functional pottery.  I want these cups to be successfully functional, but also odd, surprising, and even silly.  I make them in limited edition, as time allows, and I make them to please myself.   And because they are not practiced, they embody elements of imperfection and question, qualities I very much appreciate in a handmade object.”

 ABOUT LAUREL MACDUFFIE –  Probably the best thing her parents ever did was refuse to own a television. While she sadly missed seeing one giant leap for mankind, she learned from the start how to use her imagination and make beautiful things.  In 2012 she was able to finally put those skills to the test and rely solely on her two hands to support herself.  She joined her husband, David Orser, as a full time potter in their small studio, Cedar Mountain Potters, where they shuffle carefully in small paths around stacks of clay, filling their shelves to the gills. In her pots she likes to incorporate seemingly opposing qualities, such as sturdy and tender, sensuous and hard, expected and surprising. Laurel's pots are high fired in a salt kiln.  Salt firing is a labor-intensive process that gives unique and beautiful results. You may see small dots on the pots that are left by the tiny balls of wadding that must be used to prevent pots from sticking.  All pots are dishwasher and microwave safe.  Some forms may be used in the oven if special care instructions are followed.


FLAWS

FLAWS for a CAUSE SALE!


From April 15th to the 30th, Maine Potters Market hosts its Annual Flaws for a Cause Sale to benefit Cultivating Community. 

Take home Maine-made, slightly flawed pots at exceptionally low prices, while helping to make Maine-grown foods available to more Mainers.

Shop early, shop often! 




Relieve those Cabin Fever Blues

Layrel Blues

Got those Cabin Fever Blues? For the month of March and to celebrate the possibility of spring, Maine Potters Market will be highlighting the well-loved blue pots of our members. If you've been feeling cooped up all winter, and can't wait to feel those warm spring breezes, you just may need a dose of the happy blues!  Cheer yourself or someone you love with handmade pottery glazed in the world's favorite color, blue!  Come on down to Maine Potters Market and check our window displaying an array of blue pots made by our potters.  You might just catch a warm spring breeze coming off the ocean.






'Tis the Season! Rebecca May Verrill Pots Featured

Rebecca December

For the month of December, Maine Potters Market will be highlighting the work of new member Rebecca May Verrill. Rebecca's nature-inspired contemporary ceramics, handmade in her Portland, Maine studio, feature layered surface design. Rebecca has chosen to work with both red and white earthenware, an energy-efficient material choice resulting from  her concerns with sustainability and making a lower impact on the planet. 

Her bright color choices of turquoise and terra cotta, yellow and shades of green give nod to years of living in the colorful Southwest. Having been raised on a farm in rural Maine and now based in the city of Portland, she is inspired by organic plant life set against the rigidity of a metropolitan landscape;  the determination of plant life to thrive and succeed through brick and stone.   She hopes that those who use her work will enjoy it as much as she has enjoyed creating it.

ABOUT REBECCA VERRILL - Rebecca has been working with clay, teaching and firing kilns for nearly 20 years. After 10 years in Taos, New Mexico, teaching art, building and firing wood kilns, she received her MFA in Ceramics at SUNY, New Paltz with a special focus on native clays.




Meet our New Members:
Reception November 6, 2015 from 5-8 pm.

Rpbbie & Rebecca Opening Reception

Please visit us on November 6, and meet new members Robbi Portela and Rebecca May Verrill. You'll enjoy Rebecca & Robbi’s pots…

Rebecca has been working with clay, teaching and firing kilns for nearly 20 years. She is a native of Western Maine, where she first developed her love of creating objects from the natural world. Now Portland based, Rebecca’s current work is primarily wheel formed earthenware, often altered, and low-fired in anelectric kiln. Celebrating treasures one might find strolling the Maine woods, Rebecca uses lithography techniques from locally harvested plants, botanical illustrations and her own paper stencils to create contemporary surface designs.

Robbi, of Maple Lane Pottery has been working with clay since she was 13. She works in stoneware and makes pieces that are both fun and functional. Her work reflects all the years of living and working on a small farm in both New Hampshire and later in her present home of Windsor, Maine where she is constantly inspired by the animals around her on her farm and in the surrounding countryside. Robbi decorates her stoneware pottery with a variety of brightly painted whimsical farm animals and wild creatures, from hedgehogs to ravens.







Clay Dreams: Exploring New Ideas

Barbara's saggars ready to fire

For the month of October, Maine Potters Market will be featuring new work by Barbara Walch. Barbara is well known for her pinch and coil handbuilt pots. She has long been interested in the qualities of clay touched my the human hand, rather than made on a wheel. Now she is exploring new avenues in clay: new shapes, new techniques, new textures and new ideas.

One of the techniques Barbara is exploring is firing porcelain pinch pots in saggars filled with sawdust to create high fired  Cone 10 blackware, The lovely shades of gray and black are created by the burning sawdust within the saggars, which is trapped in the vitreous clay during the firing process. The textures o the saguaros are also new experiments, creating pots in new shapes and scale. 

ABOUT BARBARA WALCH  --  Barbara Walch has been making handbuilt pottery since 1973. She is one of only a few American potters who work primarily with the pinch technique. Her handcrafted stoneware dinnerware is distinctive, unusual, and appealing. Barbara and her husband, Charlie Krause, are the proprietors of Fire Flower Garden at their home located just outside the village of Thorndike, in central Maine, where her studio has been since 1989. In addition to the working pottery studio, there are extensive cottage gardens, cutting beds and a roadside plant stand.



Let's Celebrate!

Cathy's Cake Plates

For the month of September, Maine Potters Market will be celebrating the season with potter Cathy Schroeder Hammond's colorful party ware.

For those who have been waiting for more of those special pieces that Cathy makes less often, now is the chance to find her lovely butter dishes and cream and sugar sets, along with some brand new special occasion pots. Her new cake plates are perfect for entertaining at a special event. Her fancy chip and dip sets and 3-way condiment dishes with little spoons make delightful serving pieces. 

Cathy's signature glazes are bright colors that blend into one another, and her shapes are inspired by the organic forms of growing plants. She had a great time making some pieces that she has wanted to try for years, and hopes that you will enjoy them also as you get ready for the dinner-entertainment season!

ABOUT CATHY SCHROEDER HAMMOND  --  A graduate of Alfred Ceramics Program, Cathy Schroeder Hammond of Pasture's Edge Studio has been making pots and teaching in her studio spaces surrounded by pastureland and woods in Lyman, ME since 2001. She can can step outside to watch birds visit the pond, or the occasional horse, cow or wild turkey meander by. Behind the studio lies a woods path with ample wild blueberries tucked among the trees.

Bowls a plenty from members old and new

Rebecca's bowls

For the month of July, Maine Potters Market is filling the window and center display space with all sorts of bowls. We have handsome large serving bowls, medium size serving bowls, berry bowls, salad bowls, noodle bowls, soup bowls, cereal bowls, condiment and snack owls, ice cream bowls, and more! 


In addition to the work of our current twelve members, this month we are featuring the work of our two newest members who joined us in June: Robbi Fritz Portela and Rebecca May Verrill. Robbi makes delightful bowls, with light-hearted paintings of chickens, rabbits, hedgehogs and other whimsical creatures running around them. Rebecca robbi bowlsuses lithography techniques from locally harvested plants, botanical illustrations and her own paper stencils to create her contemporary nature-inspired designs.


ABOUT ROBBI PORTELA  --  Robbi has been working with clay since she was 13, having been inspired at a demonstration given by a wonderful potter under a tent at a craft fair! Her studio, Maple Lane Pottery is in Windsor, Maine where she is constantly inspired by the animals around her on her farm and in the surrounding country side. She hopes that her work brings happiness to your life!


ABOUT REBECCA VERRILL  --  Rebecca, of Rebecca May Verrill Ceramics, has been working with clay, teaching and firing kilns for nearly 20 years. She is a native of Western Maine, where she first developed her love of creating objects from the natural world. Now Portland based, Rebecca’s current work is primarily wheel-formed earthenware, often altered, and low-fired in an electric kiln. 





Potter's Holiday

Susan's Double DIngy

For the month of June, Maine Potters Market shows what happens when potter Susan Horowitz takes a break from her usual production. 

Susan enjoys making multiples. Each throwing cycle is another step in the evolution of the forms of the functional pieces she regularly makes. And then there are the other pots--made once, but without the chance to make again. Or the ones she always think of making and never gets to. And there are the pots that people have repeatedly asked for. 

For June, Susan is revisiting maneki neko - Japanese “Lucky Cats.” This time around they appear as boxes and cups and are joined by Joman-inspired ikebana vases. The graceful lines of a classic dory have reincarnated as Double Dip Dinghies. And she's made larger soap dishes, butter bells, and yarn bowls--items that customers have been asking for for years! 

Maneki-neko are figurines beckoning good luck and good fortune to their owners. Susan's Lucky Cats are inspired by her daughter’s love of all things Japanese, and the maneki-neko figurines they collect. They are so kawaii!Kawaii is the Japanese term for cute, or adorable. And those Double Dip Dinghies—aren’t they a-dory-able! 

Susan had fun making these new pieces and trying out new glaze combinations. Some of them are definite keepers and will join the ranks of her regular production. Enjoy!

ABOUT SUSAN HOROWITZ  --  Since 1970, Susan Horowitz of Ash Cove Pottery in Harpswell has been hooked on the magic of taking a lump of earth, "pulling" it into a cylinder and shaping it into a vessel on the potters wheel. She strives to make functional pots that work well and feel good to use. The clay itself inspires her forms, which change slightly with each throwing cycle, becoming clearer and bolder like a photo coming into focus. Her inscribed and brushwork decorations are based on the patterns left in the sand by the receding tide.


Inspired by the Animals

Jackie's hedgehogs

For the month of May, Maine Potters Market celebrates creatures great and small with a special show of pots made by Jacqueline Hickey of Happy Valley Potworks and Barb Loken of Loken Pottery. 

Both Jackie and Barb are inspired to use animal motifs in their pottery designs. Jackie often decorates platters and bowls with the graceful shapes and lines of birds and fish. Other pots such as bowls, creamers, and sugar bowls take on the attitude of fish, birds and other creatures (photo at right).  Both are reminders of the beautiful creatures that populate our Maine landscape, woods and water.

Barb's piggy Banks

Barb  enjoys puns and a good clay joke. She focuses on moose, pigs (photo at right) and occasional ducks. The collection now includes ‘Pig-Out Snack dishes’,’ Swine Steins’, ‘Swine glasses’, and the new pig liquid soap dispenser called ’Hog Wash’. The moose division has a moose snack dish and  members of the ‘Maine Moosician Bell Choir’. She is very serious about silly.

ABOUT JACQUELINE HICKEY -- Jacqueline established Happy Valley Potworks in 1983 with the completion of a barn and studio in North Waterboro. She has been making functional pottery for over 30 years. Her forms are either hand built or wheel thrown and often whimsical, created with a smile. The surfaces of her pieces are highly textured, and brightly colored glazes are applied to accentuate the texture.

ABOUT BARB LOKEN  --  One half of Loken Pottery, Barb enjoys the rhythm and pleasure of working at home, which includes an 1825 cape and eight acres shared with an orange Chow, a black mutt, and occasional deer, woodchucks, and wild turkeys. It's a rural setting with ample space for a studio and garden, with easy access to hiking, canoeing, camping, art and music. Also a painter, Barb crafts clay pieces with a whimsical twist. Potters since 1970, Barb and husband Neal still enjoy the challenge of experimenting, designing and decorating new forms.


Our Annual Flaws for a Cause Sale and the story that inspired it

FLAWS FOR A CAUSE APRIL 15-30

For April 15-30, Maine Potters Market will be hosting our Annual Flaws for a Cause Sale. The shop will be filled with many slightly flawed but very usable pots at very low prices! It's a great chance to find some incredible bargains for your home, while helping to fund Cultivating Community, an organization that helps put food on the tables of needy Mainers. 

Our beautiful flawed pots will add grace to your home while helping to "water" the gardens and programs of Cultivating Community. 
  

THE STORY – 

Every day a water-bearer carried two jugs of water up the hill from the river. One pot had a crack along the bottom where the water dripped out. The other was perfect and always delivered a full measure.

"One day the cracked pot, ashamed of its imperfection, apologized to the water-bearer. 'I'm sorry that I don't do my job well. I feel bad that my flaw makes you work harder.'

 "The water-bearer smiled gently and said "I've always known about your flaw and that is why I plant flower seeds on your side of the path. As we walk back home, you water them. If it weren't for your flaw, I wouldn't have these beautiful flowers to grace my home.'"


Functional & Decorative Porcelain

Elizabeth Louden Amber Stripes

For the month of March, Maine Potters Market will feature the work of Portland-based potter Elizabeth Louden. Elizabeth enjoys making functional porcelain wares that explore the relationship of color, pattern and form. She hopes that her handcrafted tableware can bring joy to your daily rituals.

ABOUT ELIZABETH LOUDEN – Elizabeth Louden grew up in Portland, Maine. After completing a degree in Art History at USM, she decided to pursue her interest in ceramics and apprenticed to a potter. She is currently dividing her time between making pots out of Sawyer Street Studios in the winter, and Islesford Pottery on Little Cranberry Island in the summer.



Indulge Your Affections!

David and Laurel in Studio

For the month of February, Maine Potters Market celebrates loving and giving with a special show of pots made by Sweetheart Potters David Orser and Laurel MacDuffie. 

David and Laurel met at Mudflat Pottery School in Somerville, MA, where he was a resident potter and teacher, and she came to take classes. When he asked her out to hear some Irish music, she politely declined. When she graduated from his advanced wheel-throwing class to independent study, he asked again. She again declined.  Then, later, she asked him if he wanted to go canoeing. The rest, folks, is history. 

Sweethearts David and Laurel invite you to indulge the affections of your heart, whether it be for your sweetheart, or for your own loving, deserved self. At Maine Potters Market you can find David's beautiful vases for displaying flowers, and Laurel's tiny boxes to hold, and present, your most precious things.  

ABOUT DAVID ORSER AND LAUREL MACDUFFIE – David Orser and Laurel MacDuffie moved to Parsonsfield in 1999. One year later they converted their small barn into a beautiful shared studio and established Cedar Mountain Potters. They enjoy a quiet life making art and walking the woods with their two rescued Lhasa apsos. David studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and Cranbrook Academy of Art. His pottery encompasses many styles, techniques, colors, and types of firing.  This variety keeps him excited about the work. Laurel has been working in clay since 1995. She enjoys making syrup bottles in the style of early American salt wares. Her hand engraved and stamped bottles are made on a kick wheel, salt fired, and filled with syrup made by their neighbors.


Celebrate Oktoberfest 

Jackie Hops Platter

For the moth of October, Maine Potters Market will be celebrating Oktoberfest with a special display of pots for eating, drinking and merrymaking by Jacqueline Hickey of Happy Valley Potworks. 

Oktoberfest in Munich, Bavaria, Germany is the world’s largest fair, attended by six million people. It all began when Bavarian crown prince Ludwig married the princess Therese from Saxony-Hildburghausen on Oct 12, 1810. The local communities were invited to join the five days of festivities to eat drink and be merry. Today the festival lasts 16 days starting the last weeks of September. In huge tents, merrymakers consume seven million liters of beer served with many traditional foods such as roast chicken, bratwurst, pretzels, smoked fish, potato pancakes and sauerkraut. 

This year potter Jacqueline Hickey, with her son and husband, have begun a new business growing cut flowers, Red Sky Farm. As an experiment, they grew six different varieties of hops, which are used in floral arranging as well as beer making. 

Inspired by both the October festivities and the wonderful hops themselves, Jacqueline is using the hop vines as a decorative element, making stamps to impress her stoneware platters and plates while they are still soft. She has created beer steins, mustard pots and a variety of serving platters to use during your Oktoberfest celebrations so eat drink and be merry! Prosit!

ABOUT JACQUELINE HICKEY – Happy Valley Potworks was established in 1983 with the completion of a barn and studio at Jacqueline's North Waterboro home. She has been making functional pottery for over 30 years. Her forms are either hand built or wheel thrown and often whimsical, and always created with a smile. 

Savoring Sushi and Sake in Wood-fired Pots 

Betsy WF Platter

As the rustle of September knocks at our door, what better way to savor the bounty of our oceans than to serve up a banquet of sushi! Whether you make it yourself, or order take-out, how better to serve it than on pots that have been fired in an anagama – a Japanese climbing kiln? 

Beginning September 1, Maine Potters Market has a special display of Betsy Levine's lovely wood-fired platters, sake sets, and other interesting serving and eating pieces: soy bottles, condiment dishes, bowls and more.

One of Betsy's primary concerns in creating pots for the anagama is how the huge flame that licks over the pots for 8 long days will affect the surfaces that are presented to it. The choice of clay, often a sturdy stoneware that flashes beautifully, the placement in the 24 ft. long kiln (the front produces lots of silky ash, low down may provide crunchy surfaces, and high up glazy effects), and the treatment of the surface (to carve, or inlay, or brush on slip, for example) are just some of the considerations that Betsy thinks about when preparing pieces for the fire. 

After the 4-person crew spends 4 days loading and 8 days firing, they wait a week while the kiln cools, and imagine the treasures that wait within. Betsy is pleased to share some of these treasures in a special collection of ware that is perfect for celebrating the ocean's gifts during the month of September at Maine Potters Market. 

ABOUT BETSY LEVINE – Betsy set up Prescott Hill Pottery in Liberty, Maine in 2006. She fires her soda kiln every month or two, and fires in a community wood firing twice a year. Betsy has been a painter, an editor, a publisher, a designer and a homeopath before she found her passion in pottery. Her pots are in collections across the US and the UK. 


David Orser's Vases that Reflect Natural Beauty 

David Vase

August is a lovely month for enjoying the abundance of blooms from the gardens all around us. Beginning August 2, Maine Potters Market has a special display of David Orser's beautiful atmospheric fired vases.

One of the driving forces for David is the pursuit of beautiful, intriguing, glazes and surfaces that speak of the awe that he experiences in witnessing the natural world. Stones, leaves, water and fire, all inform the work. Most fascinating to David is when the work speaks not of the maker, but of the forces of nature that are present in the depths of the glaze.

David's work has its roots in tradition that is not easily seen in practice today. He draws influences from traditional American folk stonewares, Korean inlaid porcelains, medieval English forms, Japanese Haniwa architectural forms, and Chinese and Japanese tea wares, as well as the sculptural concerns from the modernist, cubist and futurist art movements. 

David says, “The act of making work with the same tools and motions that would have been used centuries ago can give one a sense of what these people might have experienced, at the very least on a tactile level. I cannot experience the cultural context in which these historical works came into being, but I might glean some insights into what those who made them might have felt.”

One of David's pieces in the home imbues the space with that same spirit. What better way to display the beauty of nature than in a wood- or salt-fired vase by David Orser of Cedar Mountain Potters.

Serving the Salads, the Berries, the Bounty of Summer! 

Laurel Pots

The gardens and markets are bursting with greens, and the strawberries are fat and juicy. The raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are not far behind. 

For the month of July, Maine Potters Market celebrates the season with a special display of bowls great and small. 

You'll find salad bowls, serving bowls, condiment bowls and berry bowls. These are a perennial favorite, with strainer holes in the bottom to ensure that your berries are well rinsed and a tray underneath to catch any liquid. Bring your berries right to the table, ready to enjoy with your ice cream!

Through the month of July, Maine Potters Market displays a great selection of bowls in various glaze colors, sizes and patterns. Please visit us, and bring home a special bowl to enjoy. They make great gifts as well!

 

Horses Horses Horses: a Celebration in Clay

Laurel orses

Imagine a shy 6-year-old girl, blonde hair and braids, running hard but rapidly loosing ground to her ungrateful pony, tearing full tilt down Main Street, Conway, NH, empty stirrups flapping. She is crying so hard she can hardly breathe. The kindly words of passers by and the generosity of the men who stopped traffic were no consolation. "How well I remember the surprising view of the underside of Ringo's belly as he jumped over me after dumping me into the gravel of the church parking lot," says Laurel. "He looked me in the eye and bolted, running from his only true friend. I don't know if I ever forgave him for his betrayal of my innocent love and trust."

There were more ponies and a horse over the years, but at one sad stage Laurel had to admit that her life was changing and she had to find homes for her last two ponies. Ever since, she has had to content herself with drive-by sightings and an occasional pat of a friendly nose.

Laurel Pots

This June please come help Laurel MacDuffie celebrate her full membership at Maine Potter's Market with a body of work that heralds the 2014 Chinese Year of the Horse. She had a wonderful time this winter telling horse stories in clay. Here are the results: limited editions of serving trays, bowls, tiny boxes, cups, and plates that all bear the image of that most beautiful of animals, the horse.

ABOUT LAUREL MACDUFFIE - Laurel has been working in clay for about 15 years. She has been an artist all her life, working as a painter before discovering a love for clay. She studied art as an undergraduate at Connecticut College and holds a MA in Art Therapy from Lesley University. She works and lives in Parsonsfield with her husband David Orser, also a member of the Maine Potter's Market. Please visit their website to learn more about Laurel and David's functional and sculptural work. 

Set your table with Earthy EleganceBWalchTable

May brings those warm afternoons when we can set the table on the patio and invite our special friends to tea. How to create the perfect setting? Come to the Maine Potters Market during the month of May and discover the earthy elegance of Barbara Walch's extraordinary pinch pots. Barbara's pots lend a sense of relaxation and friendship to any gathering.

Barbara's work is meant to renew our sense of connection to nature using the colors of earth, the textures of sand and stone, and the forms of leaves, gourds, shells, seed pods, driftwood and flowers. These pottery formsconnect our daily activities of eating and socializing with those essential details of the natural world, which nurtures and supports us.

The pottery is stoneware, a durable clay fired at very high temperatures. A striking characteristic of her work is that the exterior is often left unglazed, allowing the natural patina and texture of the fired clay to define the form. Glazes, applied only to the inside, are reminiscent of colors found in nature, such as a clear morning sky or the cherry red of maple flowers in the spring light, or a drift of snow slowly melting into a plowed furrow. Her work, reflecting the natural world, springs from her intimate involvement in that world and from the nature of the clay itself.

ABOUT BARBARA WALCH -- Barbara Walch has been making handbuilt pottery since 1973. She is one of only a few American potters who work primarily with the pinch technique. Her handcrafted stoneware dinnerware is distinctive, unusual, and appealing. Barbara and her husband, Charlie Krause, are the proprietors of Fire Flower Garden at their home located just outside the village of Thorndike, in central Maine, where her studio has been since 1989. In addition to the working pottery studio, there are extensive cottage gardens, cutting beds and a roadside plant stand.

FLAWS for a CAUSE SaleFLAWS

Our fifth annual Flaws for a Cause Sale to benefit the local sustainable agriculture organization, Cultivating Community, runs through April 30th, 2014.

 For two weeks in April, Maine Potters Market is all about benefiting Cultivating Community. The usual stock of fine pottery, handmade in Maine is augmented with many unique, functional, slightly flawed pieces on sale at surprisingly low prices. This sale is a fantastic time to find beautiful handmade tableware at a price everyone can afford! Test pieces and discontinued styles are also available only at this annual sale. 

It's a good idea to shop early for best selection at this in-store only sale. This is also a great time to sign up for a CSA share. Maine Potters Market will have CSA location information as well as the new Cultivating Community cookbook, Beyond the Vegetable available at the store all during the Flaws for a Cause Sale.

In the spirit of cooperative support and to help promote access to local foods and tableware, Maine Potters Market is proud to support Cultivating Community's program through the proceeds of their fifth annual Flaws for a Cause Sale. By offering perfectly usable, slightly flawed pots at very affordable prices, Maine Potters Market not only helps put local food on the table of low-income Mainers, but also makes it possible for everyone to enjoy good food served in locally produced, fine handmade pots.

ABOUT CULTIVATING COMMUNITY: Cultivating Community's Growing Access, Growing Communities program trains Portland's youth to grow and market fresh produce, and makes locally grown food available to all people, regardless of income. In addition to providing farm stands and CSA shares (Community Supported Agriculture) where lower-income people live, work, and shop, this year Cultivating Community will also feature a mobile farm stand called "The Grow Cart" which will make stops at several locations around the city, including senior centers. Just as at the farm stands, the Grow Cart will be staffed by youth growers and will welcome all people to buy fresh, Maine-grown produce with WIC and SNAP benefits as well as with cash, check, and credit/debit cards.

Serving Up the HarvestNeal Loken's Bean Pot

For the month of November, Maine Potters Market will be featuring some great baking and serving pieces. 

Lovely casseroles in a variety of sizes, pie plates, large oven-to-table bowls, serving platters, pitchers for the apple cider, and many other special items to make your Thanksgiving table perfect!  

Caring for your pottery

There are just a few simple things to be aware of, so that your pots will give you long years of pleasure:  

  • Don't shock the pots with quick temperature changes.
  • Raise the temperature of the pots slowly. Rinse mugs and teapots with hot tap water before pouring in boiling water.
  • Take casseroles out of the fridge to reach room temperature
    before heating them.
  • Place bakeware in an unheated oven and preheat the dish along
    with the oven.
  • When removing bakeware from the oven, rest on a rack or pad.
    Make sure the surface you set them on is dry.
  • Do not place your pots on an open flame or other direct heat source.

Enjoy your pots! 

OF SPECIAL NOTE: Last week, at Top of the Crop, member potter nancy Button's plates were featured by one of the four highly recognized chefs of the farm to table movement in Maine. Chef Kelly Altiero from Café Miranda in Rockland chose Nancy's plate to display his Cider Braised Pork Belly. Sour Apples, Garlic, Lacinato Kale with Little Neck Clams, as he won the competition for the title of Maine's Best Farm to Table Restaurant.

 

Meet Our Newest Member, Potter Elizabeth Louden Elizabeth Louden in her studio

A reception Friday, October 4th at 5 p.m. celebrates Maine Potters Market's newest member, Elizabeth Louden and her colorful, graceful pots. Elizabeth was drawn to working in clay through her studies in Art History. She finds inspiration in studying the artwork of various cultures and ages. Of particular interest to her are historical and contemporary pots, textiles, and metalwork. Elizabeth's newest work explores the contrast of colors, textures and patterns on the surface of pots.

Elizabeth is excited to be able to pursue pottery as a full time endeavor. She loves the tactility of the medium and directness of the process. It is important to her that her work can be easily used and incorporated into peoples' daily lives. Elizabeth believes that lovingly, skillfully crafted handmade objects can bring joy through their use.

ABOUT ELIZABETH LOUDEN - Elizabeth grew up in Portland. She completed 2 years of college out of state, but missed Maine and transferred to USM. She graduated from USM in spring 2011 with a BA in Art History and minor in German. She learned to throw by taking an evening adult throwing class with Chris Peck at Portland Pottery. As her interest grew, she took courses with Lucy Breslin and Mark Johnson at the Maine College of Art. After graduation Elizabeth apprenticed to midcoast potter George Pearlman for six months. She has just returned from a summer working with potter and Maine College of Art teacher Marian Baker on Little Cranberry Island.


Memories of Coastal Maine at Maine Potters MarketCathy Hammond Raku Lighthouse

Cathy Schroeder Hammond has lived near one coast or the other most of her life, and for many years within easy reach of four different lighthouses.  She has wonderful memories of time spent at Fort Williams, Spring Point and Two Lights State Park. When living in South Portland not far from Willard Beach, she would listen to the foghorns and spend some sleepless nights walking the beach, comforted by those guiding beacons flashing their warnings to passing ships.

Cathy recently climbed the spiral stairs inside a historic lighthouse, glimpsing the Keeper's tiny quarters within. That experience, and knowing that some of Maine's lighthouses have been offered for sale for only $1, fueled fantasies of life in a lighthouse.

Inspired by these comforting beacons, Cathy began making lamps in the shape of lighthouses: night-lights that would glow from windows at the top. She also made a few "whistles" that when blown give a deep foghorn sort of toot. The ideas expanded from there, and include candle lights, coin banks, salt and pepper shakers, birdhouses and covered jars. Cathy’s lighthouse collection, memories of coastal Maine summers in raku,  stoneware and porcelain, is on display at Maine Potters Market for the month of August. 

ABOUT CATHY SCHROEDER HAMMOND – Cathy graduated from the ceramics program at Alfred University in 1986. From 1998 to 2001, she was the summer resident potter at Marian Baker’s Islesford Pottery, right on the restaurant landing dock of Little Cranberry Island, off the coast of Mount Desert Island. That island community includes 3 lighthouses on 3 different islands. She now lives and works in Lyman, Maine with her husband and and 10 year old son Nicholas.


The Berries are Coming

Berry Bowl by Betsy Levine

The strawberries are already fat and juicy, and the raspberries, blackberries and blueberries are not far behind. The bushes are laden with fruit this year, so be prepared!

Maine Potters Market celebrates the season with a special display of berry bowls. These lovely bowls are perfect for rinsing and serving your luscious berries. The strainer holes in the bottom of the bowls ensure that your berries are well rinsed and that they won't be sitting in a wet spot. The tray underneath catches any remaining water, so you can bring the berries right to the table, ready to enjoy with your ice cream, pound cake, cheese and crackers.. or cream and a sprinkle of sugar or spice.

Through the month of July, Maine Potters Market displays a great selection of berry bowls in various glaze colors, sizes and patterns. Please visit us, and bring home a berry bowl to enjoy. They make great gifts as well!


Flights of Fancy at Maine Potters Market

Nancy Button's Feather Ikebana

Beginning June 1, Maine Potters Market displays a new collection of pots by Nancy Button. These pots reflect the joy of flight and the excitement of playing with the textures of the natural world.  

Working with her favorite oak tree outside the studio, Nancy slaps a cut slab of clay against the tree, brings the impressed clay back inside, and shapes it into a vessel. 

Feather textures are stamped into clay in diagonal and circular meditative movements. As the birds awaken the trees, Nancy shares the feeling that Emily Dickinson expressed: “Hope is the thing with feathers That perches in the soul…”

The resulting pots are the product of a time before summer bursts forth in all its busy glory. They are a reflection of that quiet time, when freed from the constraints of production, Nancy can encourage the seeds of new ideas to bear fruit.  

ABOUT NANCY BUTTON – Nancy’s mother found her passion for potting when she was young. Thanks to her, from an early age Nancy lived with pots handmade by many different potters. As a young adult there was nothing she wanted to do more than follow along the same path, and so she did. Nancy is one of the founding members of Maine Potters Market.


It’s Hog Heaven at Maine Potters Market

Barb Loken Pigs galore

Each spring, Barb Loken’s dad would get a special permit from the city of Minneapolis so he could bring home a small piglet. Then for the next six weeks, he would carry the pig around to different elementary schools and teach children about farm animals. He loved to show off the intelligence of the pig, which could hit several different locks with its snout in order to open its feed box. At this point, a flag would snap up that proclaimed, HOGS ARE BEAUTIFUL!

And so they are! For May, Barb has created a whimsical menagerie at Maine Potters Market. There are flying pigs, piggy banks, swine cups, trough dishes, and many other imaginative piggy characters to cheer the heart as we wallow our way out of Mud Season. 

Opening reception Friday May 3, 5 to 8 pm.

ABOUT BARB LOKEN – Barbara Loken has been an artist/potter for over forty years. Her work includes watercolors, batiks, wood block prints, silk-screen work and both functional and non-functional work in clay. After college, Barb studied at the International School of Art in Salzburg, then traveled and lived in Italy, Jerusalem, Jordan, and Israel. She and her husband Neal lived and studied in Japan before returning home to set up Loken Pottery. Barb taught art at Hall-Dale High School in Hallowell for twenty years.  She now works full time in the studio with Neal.


Fourth Annual “Flaws for a Cause” to Benefit Cultivating Community’s Growing Access, Growing Communities Project

FLAWSMaine Potters Market hosts their fourth annual “Flaws for a Cause” sale to benefit the local sustainable agriculture organization, Cultivating Community, on April 15th, 2013 – April 30th, 2013.

This year, Maine Potters Market focuses its support on Cultivating Community’s Growing Access, Growing Communities program. The program supports and strengthens local communities by making locally grown food available to low-income consumers. Last year, this initiative at farm stands and farmers’ marketsput over $101,000 worth of healthy food on the tables of more than 4,000 low-income Maine families. Most of the farm stands are situated where lower-income people live, work, shop, and learn. Convenient pick-up schedules for Community Supported Agriculture Shares (CSA’s) and the ability to accept SNAP and WIC benefits as payment, coupled with a matching grant on benefits that doubles the amount of healthy food that low-income families can afford, makes this program a win-win for all.

For these two weeks only, Maine Potters Market’s usual stock of fine pottery, handmade in Maine will be augmented with many unique, functional, slightly flawed pieces. This sale is a fantastic time to find beautiful handmade tableware at a price everyone can afford! Test pieces and discontinued styles are also available only at this annual sale.  It is a good idea to shop early for best selection. This is also a great time to sign up for a CSA share. Maine Potters Market will have CSA location information available at the store all during the Flaws for a Cause Sale.

In the spirit of cooperative support and to help promote access to local foods and tableware, Maine Potters Market is proud to support Cultivating Community’s program through the proceeds of their fourth annual “Flaws for a Cause” sale. By offering perfectly usable, slightly flawed pots at very affordable prices, Maine Potters Market not only helps put local food on the table of low-income Mainers, but also makes it possible for those families to enjoy that food served in locally produced, fine handmade pots.

Gail Waxing Leaves

Fall Foliage on Casco Bay: New Leaf and Wave Inspired Stoneware by Gail Kass

For the month of October, member potter Gail Kass has made a fresh batch of striking ikebanas and one-of-a-kind leaf and wave motif serving pieces which mirror the ever changing fall foliage on Casco Bay. These hand-formed, artful clay objects are seasonally themed and glazed in shades of forest green, auburn, mustard, and mahogany. “These pots emerged from my immediate surroundings,” states Kass. She enjoys the spontaneity of creatingthese intimate, sensual pots: throwing them loosely on the wheel, and then sculpting them immediately afterward, stretching and carving them from ridged, thrown disks while wet. Kass has also made an assortment of mugs and everyday pieces in her traditional landscape and seascape motifs available for the duration of her fall window display.



Susan Horowitz AweeSusan Horowitz's Meditations in Clay
for the Days of Awe

The Days of Awe, the period from Rosh Hashanah to Yom Kippur, the Jewish High Holidays, are a time of reflection and T’Shuvah, returning to one’s true self, aligned with the Divine.  Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is observed with food and images that are round and whole, much as pots thrown on a wheel.

The pots featured through September 30 reflect Susans's desire to return to her original connection to clay and the experience of creation: the spiritual practices of attuning herself to the clay, centering it on the potter’s wheel, being sensitive to the give and take of her hands and the material. Susan has made covered jars, vessels that are containers; reflections of the vessels that attempted to hold God’s light. She has made assorted small bowls and tea bowls, some glazed outside her regular palette. They don’t come in matched sets, but are pots that she enjoys making and using.

L’Shanah Tova! Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year.

You are praised

Who rolls out the rough, raw clay of the universe

Into delicate vessels of light

Jackie's Fish PlatesHomage to Portland, our City by the Sea

We celebrate Portland this month with fantastic pieces inspired by the city's beautiful landscape. This dedicated window of work by Jackie Hickey will be on display through August 29. 

Portland, Maine is a city that never forgot its roots: You can still find architectural wonders, peruse the working waterfront, and walk down cobblestone streets. As a testament to Portland's rugged, natural beauty, member potter Jacqueline Hickey has created a delightful line of inspired pots which reflect the city's fine landscape and connection to the ocean. 

Detailed with blue and green glazes and completed with fish, shell, and urchin markings, Hickey's Portland infused pottery is a wonderful way to experience and celebrate the city's rich history. Joined by the likes of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Hickey is one of many artists inspired by Portland. Opening "My Lost Youth" with: "Often I think of the beautiful town / That is seated by the sea" Longfellow seeks to share his reverence and love of Portland. It is Portland's strong connection to nature, the ocean, and its hard-working citizens that never ceases to spark creativity, industry, and imagination. You are invited to join Jacqueline Hickey and Maine Potters Market as they pay tribute to our fair city.


Betsy's Garden Party PotsGarden Party: Essential Tableware
for Summer Dining

 Just in time to welcome the warmth of summer and celebrate outdoor dining in Maine, Betsy Levine of Prescott Hill Pottery has handcrafted a line of tableware to adorn your patio or picnic in style. Highly recommended for wedding dining and outdoor celebrations, this fresh collection is bursting with vibrant accents and earth tones that Betsy has designed to reflect the joy of a lovely summer afternoon luncheon.

Betsy's unique craftsmanship ensures that each component of her Garden Party line is a work of art.  Pieces are wheel thrown and then hand drawn with an incised leaf motif.  The inside is lined with a buttery yellow glaze, the green glaze is hand painted on the outside, and a band at the top edge is left bare to interact with the atmosphere in the kiln. Betsy employs soda firing in the production of this line, which ensures that each piece has its own character. The flame and vapor in the kiln creates a faint orange-peel glaze texture on the raw clay and enhances the green glaze. The result is reminiscent of sunlight falling on leaves. Betsy Levine’s “Garden Party” collection is a fantastic way to sustain the delight of summer all year long.

ABOUT PRESCOTT HILL POTTERY – Betsy Levine joined Maine Potters Market last year. She is known for her elegant and earthy, feminine and strong creations that are finished in soft, yet vibrant earth tones, echoing our connection with the past.


Beatrice TriptychMaine Potters Market Celebrates Renewal

Lambs

Maine Potters Market is pleased to announce member Beatrice Gilbert’s Spring display, “Renewal,” on view now through May 29th.

Springtime on Beatrice Gilbert’s North Yarmouth farm heralds significant changes, growth, and renewal. From the birth of new lambs to the re-emergence of plant life, Gilbert shares her excitement for this season and for the revitalization of Earth and self as she returns to the wheel after a year-long hiatus nursing a repetitive-motion injury. During this break from throwing pots, Gilbert kept her hands busy quilting. Maine Potters Market is thrilled to celebrate spring and to welcome Gilbert’s vibrant pottery and quilts back to their front window exhibit. This May, you will find a fantastic juxtaposition of simple designs and vivid colors to adorn your table, delight your senses, and inspire your spirit during this beautiful season of renewal.

ABOUT FIRED EARTH POTTERY – After starting a career in finance, Beatrice Gilbert now leads a life full of creativity that is grounded in nature. Gilbert became a full time artist in 1998 and creates beautiful pots; simple in form and vibrant in color.


Coming up: Flaws for a Cause Sale to Benefit Cultivating Community’s
New American Sustainable Agriculture Project

Cultivating Community

Maine Potters Market will host our third annual "Flaws for a Cause" sale benefitting the local agriculture organization, Cultivating Community April 15th- 30th.

Inspired by the story of a porter who cherished her cracked pot for its ability to water the flowers along the path as she trod from her local well, Maine Potters Market is thrilled to help Cultivating Community's New American Sustainable Agriculture Project (NASAP) with our third annual "Flaws for a Cause" sale.

Cultivating Community is an organization dedicated to supporting and strengthening communities by growing food in school gardens, community plots, and by partnering with local farms. In an effort to reconnect people to the land, and to prepare youth leaders and new farmers, Cultivating Community's NASAP will use the proceeds raised by Maine Potters Market to draw upon the experience and knowledge of immigrant and refugee farmers and fund them; helping feed their families and start their own farm-based business.

NASAP strengthens the local food system of Maine by selling the produce to restaurants and grocers, at farmers markets, and through CSA shares. Additionally, NASAP recently received a federal grant which allows farmers to accept food stamp debit card payments for CSA shares and at farmer's markets.

It is in this spirit of cooperative support and buying local at the most basic level that Maine Potters Market has again chosen Cultivating Community as the beneficiary of their "Flaws for a Cause" sale.

April 15-30, Maine Potters Market will be brimming with unique, functional (slightly flawed) but perfectly usable pieces. Apart from these two weeks, Maine Potters Market sells only first quality pieces.

This sale is a fantastic time to find beautiful pottery at great prices! Test pieces and discontinued styles will also be available. Shop early for best selection!



Coming up: End of Winter sale!

Barbara Walsh teapotYou can tell spring is just around the corner...
And to help ease your last weeks of winter, The Maine Potters Market is going all out! You get 15% off all in-stock pottery from March 1st to the 20th. Plus, starting March 1st, we are open until 8 on Saturdays.

This is a great month to spend some time in th Old Port. In addition to our End of Winter Sale, there are also some great events happening nearby:

First up is Maine Restaurant Week, March 1-10. You'll find many participating restaurants in the Old Port, offerng three-course dinners for $20 ($), $30 ($$) or $40 ($$$), and specials on lunches and breakfasts as well!

The Portland Flower Show is March 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 with the Opening Night Gala on the 7th and the Plant Auction on the 11th at the Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St.

The Maine Boatbuilders Show is March 16-18, also at Portland Company Complex, 58 Fore St. It's a yearly gathering of the finest fiberglass and wooden custom boat builders on the East Coast discussing and selling their work. Sailboats, powerboats, canoes, kayaks, rowing boats, and boating equipment.


Nancy Button ClockAND DON'T FORGET –
Spring ahead March 11th. 
We're looking forward to seeing you!






It's Valentine's Month at the Maine Potters Market

Nancy Button EarringsDid you know that the Maine Potters Market has a great selection of gifts, large and small, that can help you celebrate this day? Come and visit our newly arranged store! From wall pieces to lovebird vases to porcelain jewelry, you will find lots of gift ideas at The Maine Potters Market.

Barb Walch Lovebirds


Shop for a Cause Day

On Saturday, December 3rd, help support two charities chosen by our local merchant community by shopping downtown in the annual Shop For a Cause Day.

Participating stores pledge to donate a portion o their sales to the selected charities: The Center for Grieving Children and The Portland Police department’s Explorer Post Program.

The Center for Grieving Children, based in Portland, Maine, serves more than 4,000 grieving children, teens, families, and young adults annually through peer support, outreach, and education. Offering our services at no charge, for as long as people need them, the Center’s mission is to provide loving support that encourages the safe expression of grief and loss and fosters each individual’s resilience and emotional well-being. The Center reaches individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds, and relies on financial contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations, United Way, and special events. For more information, call (207) 775-5216 or visit www.cgcmaine.org.

Portland Police department’s Explorer Post Program secures grants to train under 21 individuals who are interested in a law enforcement career and give them the opportunity to work with the department for 8 to 12 weeks. They are in a polo shirts uniform and use radios on the police frequency. The department has had them walking ”beats” in the Arts District this past August and September and has proven effective in reducing problem behaviors on the street while providing a positive response from visitors. Funds raised for this program could help expand the hours and the downtown area covered.

 

TreeMerry Madness

Thursday December 15th 5-10pm - Shop ‘til you drop in downtown Portland!

Merry Madness kicks off downtown with music, food, and fun! Check back for hotel information and a list of participating stores offering food, drinks and late hours. It’s a night full of fun with your friends- shop, eat, and be merry!

Participating stores (including the Maine Potters market) will remain open until 10 pm.

Betsy Levine Cream and SugarCome to our Welcome Reception
for New Member Betsy Levine
and take 15% off all in-store work!

Maine Potters Market will host a welcome reception for new member Betsy Levine on November 4, 2011 from 5pm-8pm. Also in celebration, Maine Potters Market will feature a 15% off sale of all in-store pieces from November 4-6, 2011.

Adding even more variety to Maine Potters Market, Betsy Levine of Prescott Hill Pottery in Liberty, Maine, shares her interest in artifacts, historical records, and symbols, which adorn her beautiful pottery for us to enjoy. For Betsy, making tableware, storage jars and vases expresses spirit in a language as ancient as the first pots. Her elegant and earthy, feminine and strong creations are finished in soft yet vibrant earth tones, echoing our connection with the past.

Completed wood-fired and soda-fired stoneware and porcelain pots are as beautiful as they are useful. Maine Potters Market invites you to help them welcome Betsy Levine to Portland.
 

ABOUT BETSY LEVINE – Betsy established Prescott Hill Pottery in 2005, upon her move to midcoast Maine. In addition to being a unique and gifted professional potter, Betsy also brings a wealth of experience in graphic arts to Maine Potters Market, and is a major talent behind their newly re-launched website.

 

Jackie Hickey oil and vinegar“Now We’re Cooking!”
Pottery Designed for Cooking and Serving
by Jacqueline Hickey

Maine Potters Market celebrates the fall harvest with Jacqueline Hickey’s new window, “Now we’re cooking!” October 10, 2011 through October 30, 2011

Specifically designed to share and delight in the process of preparing, cooking and serving locally grown and harvested food, “Now we’re cooking!” celebrates Maine’s rich farm culture and locavore movement. Pieces include batter bowls, oil and vinegar sets, mortar and pestles, honey pots, utensil holders, platters and more. Just in time for Portland’s famed Harvest on the Harbor, “Now we’re cooking!” will adorn your table and countertops with grace and local style.

 

ABOUT JACQUELINE HICKEY – Jacqueline Hickey established Happy Valley Potworks in 1983 and has been making functional pottery for over 30 years. Her often whimsical creations are playful, highly textured, and brightly glazed.

 

Gail Kass Leaf plates“Waves and Leaves” by Gail Kass

Maine Potters Market announces their latest window “Waves and Leaves” by Gail Kass, on display through October 9, 2011.

Drawing inspiration from her studio window’s view, Gail Kass explores the constant motion of water and her ever evolving garden. Mimicking the symmetry, patterns and uniqueness of Hosta and the changing tides, “Waves and Leaves” mirrors and echoes nature’s beauty and perpetual flux. Each piece is a snapshot of evolution; thrown on the wheel and then again on the work table. Kass has intentionally left the throwing marks on these pots and has used a swirling spiral as an integral part of her design. “Waves and Leaves” is a perfect complement to the fall season and a beautiful homage to summer past.

ABOUT GAIL KASS – Gail Kass has been searching for that elusive “perfect pot” since the early 70’s. Working from her home in a quiet cove of Casco Bay, Kass enjoys creating tranquil landscapes and seascapes on her pots.

 

David Orser Barn“Clay Barns” by Cedar Mountain Potters

In a fantastic diversion from the typical clay pot, stein or bowl, David Orser of Cedar Mountain Potters has drawn from his own personal experience of renovating his 200 year old farmhouse in Parsonsfield to create a stunning series of clay barns. Orser states, “I have always found delight in studying and making work that has at its roots a tradition that is not easily seen in practice today.” The original genesis of these clay barns came from Japanese clay tomb figures and buildings call Haniwa. With Haniwa in mind, Orser looked at the architectural language of early America and began to create. The end result harkens back to the struggles and basic way of life that created a new breed of pride and resiliency that characterizes and sustains us as Americans today. “It is with a mixture of joy and reverence for the old, and sadness, as I witness the disappearance of these beautiful objects and ways of life from our current landscape.”  Orser’s “Clay Barns” will be in display until September 18, 2011. Be sure to stop by Maine Potters Market before they are gone.

ABOUT DAVID ORSER – David Orser studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Massachusetts and also at Cranbrook Academy of Art. Along with Laurel McDuffie, Orser enjoys a quiet life making art, renovating their 200 year farmhouse and outbuildings, and walking in the woods with their rescued Lhasa apso.

 

Betsy LevineBetsy Levine brings her wood- and soda-fired pots
to the Maine Potters Market

Maine Potters Market announces our newest member, Betsy Levine. Working in Liberty, Maine, Betsy joins the ranks of Maine Potters Market’s 12 current members, adding even more variety to the pottery we offer. 

For Betsy, making tableware, storage jars and vases expresses spirit in a language as ancient as the first pots. Her interest in artifacts, historical records and symbols is directly reflected in her pottery. Elegant and earthy, feminine and strong, Betsy’s work is finished in soft yet vibrant earth tones, echoing this connection with the past. She states, “Placing marks on a surface feels like a profound act of humanity.” The completed wood-fired and soda-fired stoneware and porcelain pots are as beautiful as they are useful.

ABOUT BETSY LEVINE – In addition to being a unique and gifted professional potter, Betsy also brings a wealth of experience in graphic arts to Maine Potters Market, and was instrumental in creating their newly re-launched website. Maine Potters Market invites you to visit their website and stop by their shop and help welcome Betsy Levine to Portland.

 

Tom Huber potTom Huber, Potter and Glassmaker Featured

Maine Potters Market is exhibiting Tom Huber’s exploration in glazes from June 13, 2011 through July 3, 2011. Huber brings his unique perspective and creativity to pottery via his experience with a wide range of glazes and firing techniques. Huber states, “A Potter’s glazes are true glass.” In his upcoming exhibit, Mr. Huber explores the many glaze variations and techniques a potter employs as well as the opportunities and constraints afforded in adhering glazes (glass) to clay vessels. Some techniques include: Starving the glaze for oxygen, growing crystals in the glaze, causing the glaze to crackle, coloring the glaze with metal oxides, or flowing several glazes together. Huber’s pieces will exhibit different glaze techniques, styles and uses. Experienced pottery buyers and novices alike will revel at the versatility, beauty, and functionality of his artwork. All items are handmade at Huber’s Newfield studio and are characterized by his signature style: giving classical forms a contemporary expression.

ABOUT TOM HUBER – Tom Huber is the founder/owner of Symmes Pond Pottery. Growing up he enjoyed playing in the mud, playing with fire and being surprised at the outcome from his ventures. Today, Huber is a potter who still plays in the mud, with fire and is surprised. He lives with his wife, Melody, their dog, cat, various chickens, turkeys and bees in Newfield, ME.

Susan Horowitz making cats for Susan Horowitz's "Pots for a Cause - Made for Japan" Benefitting Japanese Earthquake Relief Efforts

"Made for Japan" is the newest installment of Susan Horowitz's "Pots for a Cause" series in which special pieces are inspired, designed, and sold for a particular cause. "Made for Japan" will benefit Japanese relief efforts from the devastating earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. Horowitz's "Made for Japan" window display and designated pieces is featured at Maine Potters Market from Monday, May 23, 2011 through Sunday, June 12, 2011.

Inspired by the work of Japanese potters Shoji Hamada and Soetsu Yanagi, Susan Horowitz celebrates the traditions, crafts, resiliency, and culture of the Japanese people. "Made in Japan" will feature vases for Ikebana, the art of Japanese flower arranging, as well as Maneki Neko, or Lucky Cats. The vases have a pin frog, known in Japanese as kenzan, which make it easy to create simple yet elegant displays. Maneki Neko have a long history in Japan. They can often be found as simple rooftop decorations or as beckoning cats at Japanese restaurants. These pieces incorporate Yanagi's concept of "Minegi" (Folk Art), which treasures, encourages and promotes handmade items above their commercial, less unique counterparts. These pieces also harken Japan's history of rebuilding, recovering from devastation, and producing some of the finest quality items found around the world.

Cats drying - for ABOUT "POTS FOR A CAUSE" – For over twenty years "Pots for a Cause" has benefitted numerous groups that work to end world hunger, improve the water quality of Casco Bay, better the lives of children in Chinese orphanages, and support Mainers living with HIV/AIDS.

ABOUT SUSAN HOROWITZ – Susan Horowitz has been a potter for forty years. She established Ash Cove Pottery in 1985 and believes deeply in the connection between herself and the users of her pottery, as well as the great influence and importance of handmade wares in one's everyday life. The beauty and grace of Maine's natural landscape are reflected in her work.

Barbara Walsh - red cupsBarbara Walch's Pinchpots Featured

The Maine Potters Market, 376 Fore Street in Portland's Old Port, showcases the work of Barbara Walch during the month of May. The display features her signature pinch pot designs that are both practical and beautiful.

Walch established her pottery amidst beautiful perennial gardens in Thorndike, Maine. She says, "My work is meant to stimulate the imagination and the viewer's sense of fantasy while reflecting details of the natural world through organic forms and colors. It renews our sense of connection to nature, using the nature of the clay itself to reflect the textures of sand and stone, the colors of earth and sky and the forms of leaves and gourds." A long time Maine Potters Market member, Walch prides herself in making pots that "serve to connect our daily activities of eating and socializing with those essential details of the natural world.

Barbara Walch's newest pottery, on display in May, is sculptural yet functional, proving that there's more to dinner than just food! The art of dining, eating and entertaining, setting a unique table, and adding interest to food are the themes that Walch explores with this work.