Potters Market to return to Southfield

 Mary Manzitti, of St. Clair Shores, creates pottery angels, including planters, that will be sold at the 2017 Potters Market in Southfield.

Mary Manzitti, of St. Clair Shores, creates pottery angels, including planters, that will be sold at the 2017 Potters Market in Southfield.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley


By: Kayla Dimick, Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published December 1, 2017

 David Ellison, of St. Clair Shores, makes pottery tiles that will be sold at the market, which will be open Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road.

David Ellison, of St. Clair Shores, makes pottery tiles that will be sold at the market, which will be open Nov. 30-Dec. 3 at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road.

Photos provided by Linda Ashley

SOUTHFIELD — With offerings ranging from pots and bowls to decorative tiles, cherubic angels, planters and more, organizers say the annual Potters Market is growing each year.

As the largest pottery sale in the country, the Potters Market is back again for its 42nd year through Dec. 3 at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road. 

The free event will be held 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 1, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 2 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 3. Parking at the pavilion is free. 

Retired art teacher Mary Manzitti, of St. Clair Shores, will bring angel planters, angel garden statues and other offerings, including jewelry, to this year’s show. She learned how to work on a potter’s wheel in college, she said, “and I’m a senior citizen now, so I’ve been doing this a long time.”

“The style has changed; the technique has changed. ... I’ve always liked that idea, because there’s so much you can do with the idea of an angel,” she added. 

She said she loves creating faces, so most of her work has a face on it. She creates pottery in the garage during the summer and in her basement studio during the winter.

“Sometimes I invite kids over from the neighborhood,” she said. “They love it.”

The market recently relocated from the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Hall in Madison Heights to Southfield, organizers said, and the transition has made the event grow larger than ever. 

Carol Fitzpatrick, co-manager of the Potters Market, said event organizers are busy this year getting ready for the market, doing everything from distributing information about the event to making sure there are enough sales slips and wrapping paper to wrap up purchases. 

Fitzpatrick said that although the event has been around for decades, it’s never the same as the year before. 

“Occasionally, we get questions asking if we’re going to have the same things as last year,” she said. “I’m telling you, the potters still do make things that were popular the year before, but they also see things throughout the year and make them for the show. We have a lot of new and exciting potters coming in this year. We have 25 new potters — from beginners to professionals — the whole gamut.” 

Last year, the aisles at the market were made wider to accommodate more people. Around 8,000 people attend the market each year, according to organizers. 

Back again this year are daily pottery demonstrations at the event, as well as a café, food trucks, vending machines, an ATM and free coat checks.

There will also be a place to rest your feet if you plan on shopping until you drop, Fitzpatrick said. 

“We have tables set up inside with enough seating for people to sit down and relax,” she said. “It’s a little separated area where people can just sit down, eat and hang out.”

Manzitti said she loves the annual market.

“It’s just a wonderful place to come. There’s such a variety,” she said. “We meet up with all the other potters. It’s a real community of people that really love the same thing. 

“When you get your hands into clay, it’s addictive.”

David Ellison, of St. Clair Shores, agreed. He has brought his architectural relief tiles to the market for the past five years.

“It’s slowly evolving,” he said. “The show is really amazing in its scope and its volume.”

All the potters pitch in to help make the event a success, he said. 

Although Ellison does tile for kitchens, bathrooms and more, he brings some ornamental tiles to the show.

“I bring more individual, more gift tiles,” he said. “It’s much less of a commitment to just hang” one tile.

With 140 potters from all over Michigan and surrounding states offering 35,000 pieces of pottery, Fitzpatrick said, the market is the perfect place to find holiday gifts for anyone on your shopping list. 

Fitzpatrick said previously that patrons can easily find gifts for $30 or less, but the market also does showcase items for those with a larger budget. 

For more information, visit thepottersmarket.com.