Monday, March 5, 2018

Greater Lansing Pottery Guild Workshop

I just got back from a weekend of presenting a workshop to the Greater Lansing Pottery Guild. Facebook friend, Sara Laitala, was the one who made it all happen -- convinced the guild to take a chance on me as a presenter. I had a fantastic time.

I was immediately humbled (and a bit more than a touch intimidated) as I arrived and was given a tour of the facility. The gallery of bisqueware that lines the shelf along the top of all the walls of the place was pointed out to me as we walked from room to room. That bisqueware gallery is the demonstration pieces of all the presenters who have come before. It is hundreds of pieces that represent so many of my heroes in the world of clay -- Aerni, Pinnell Shankin, Hill, van Gilder, Finnegan, Mather, Clennell....too many to mention.

The GLPG is one of the oldest pottery guilds in the country -- more than 50 years old. If that fact isn't amazing enough, I met some of the original founders who have remained active members the entire time.

This is a guild unlike any I've ever seen. The commitment of the membership toward the goals of education and excellence was evident the second I entered the doors.

The facility is worth a visit for any potter who might be traveling through the area. It is clean, neat, spacious, orderly, and extremely well-outfitted -- dozens of very good wheels kept in good working order, sufficient bats for all, large and clean worktables, large and clean wedging tables.....a place for everything and everything in its place.

Additionally, it had well kept gas, vapor, and electric kilns for the members to use.

It's a treat to watch the members team-working together to set up, tear down, move around, and turn the work space into a workshop arena and then back to the work space again. It was like watching a practiced choreography of 20 or more people doing what they've obviously done countless times.

The member's mutual respect and love for one another was a thing of beauty.
The guild treated me like a king for the whole weekend -- they fed me, waited on me with anything I might need throughout the day, ferried my finished pieces away to make room for more....

...and they listened attentively to this old guy who can talk the bark off a tree with stories that sometimes didn't even relate to clay (Breeze may have gotten a mention or two).

That bisqueware gallery of previous presenters will now have a few Bauman pieces joining it. I hope those guys don't mind too much.


  1. They will be in great compnay as you are a wonderful potter. I bet it was a great workshop.