Annual Potters Market returns to Southfield

By: Kayla Dimick, Tiffany Esshaki | Birmingham - Bloomfield Eagle | Published November 26, 2018

 Pottery artist Alison Berlin, of Bloomfield Hills, will present her nature-inspired serveware and other pieces for the first time at the Potters Market Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

Pottery artist Alison Berlin, of Bloomfield Hills, will present her nature-inspired serveware and other pieces for the first time at the Potters Market Nov. 30-Dec. 2.

Photo provided by Alison Berlin, Maple Mill Pottery

SOUTHFIELD — Whether your holiday shopping budget is big or small, the annual Potters Market has got you covered.

As the largest pottery sale in the country, the Potters Market is back again for its 43rd year Nov. 29-Dec. 2 at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road.

The free event will be held 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Nov. 30, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 1 and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 2. Patrons can attend a special preview of the market for $10 admission 6-9 p.m. Nov. 29. Parking at the pavilion is free.

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.

Bridget Blosser, the manager of the Potters Market, said that each year the event offers a unique range of pieces by local artists.

“We have around 140 potters. It’s a real range, from students to hobbyists to professional potters, all at different price points,” Blosser said. “Shoppers can find anything you can think of that can be made in clay.”

Blosser said a portion of the market is sectioned off for items that cost $30 or less, which is referred to as the bulk area.

“The bulk area encompasses everything from mugs, plates, garlic shredders — anything you can think of. I’m always impressed when I walk through there, because the artists are so creative with what they can come up with,” she said.

In 2016, 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 and vending machines. The market this year will also feature live entertainment from local artists.  

Each year, event organizers choose a charity to support. This year, participating artists will donate their artwork, and the proceeds from the sales will be given to Camp Casey.

Camp Casey is a nonprofit organization that provides horseback riding programs to children with cancer and rare blood disorders.

Blosser said Camp Casey was chosen because it is dedicated to a cause close to her late husband’s heart. Blosser’s husband, Charlie Blosser, started the Potters Market 43 years ago.

“This is in honor of my husband. I try to choose a charity he would like. The first year, we did the Detroit Fire Department,” she said. “The last 10 years of his life, he just became obsessed with children — he loved children —  so I wanted something local that would help children.”

Alison Berlin, of Bloomfield Hills, will be presenting her work under the name Maple Mill Pottery for the first time at the esteemed show. She began her career as an artist when she was a pottery student at Oak Park High School years ago, and now she teaches the craft at the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit in West Bloomfield Township.

“I’d describe my ceramics as very bright, colorful glazes, and also very into nature — fire, leafy objects, very organic,” Berlin said. “I got it from my mom. We’re always looking at the sky or the trees. She’s a painter, and I love to glaze. I layer it and slash it on, and I’m a sloppy glazer, but I do it on purpose, believe it or not. I love what I achieve when glazes react with each other.”

For more information on the Potters Market, visit thepottersmarket.com.