Annual Potters Market to return to Southfield

By: Kayla Dimick | Southfield Sun | Published November 20, 2019

 Jeff Blanford performs a demonstration at the wheel during a past Potters Market. The market will return to Southfield for its 44th year Dec. 5-8.

Jeff Blanford performs a demonstration at the wheel during a past Potters Market. The market will return to Southfield for its 44th year Dec. 5-8.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

 A shopper poses with her treasures last year.

A shopper poses with her treasures last year.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

 Shoppers browse the wares at last year’s market.

Shoppers browse the wares at last year’s market.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

SOUTHFIELD — There’s always that one person on our holiday shopping list who is impossible to buy for.

But with the 33,000 pieces of pottery for sale at the annual Potters Market, it might be a little easier to cross that person off your list.

As the largest pottery sale in the country, the Potters Market is back again for its 44th year Dec. 5-8 at the Southfield Pavilion, 26000 Evergreen Road.

The free event will be held 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 6, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Dec. 7, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Dec. 8. Patrons can attend a special preview of the market for $10 admission 6-9 p.m. Dec. 5. 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.

“It’s a wonderful shopping venue for handmade gifts — everything is, of course, handmade — everything is made out of clay, and we have a little bit of metal and woodworking pieces along with our pottery,” Blosser said.

Out of 148 artists being featured at this year’s show, around 20 are new to the market, Blosser said.

“We have a lot of new potters, and they come from all around the country, and they’re bringing new ideas,” she said. “Functional wear to whimsical pieces, sculptures, jewelry, ornaments, mugs — anything you can think of made in clay, we can make.”

Blosser said a portion of the market is sectioned off for items priced at $30 and under, which is referred to as the bulk area.

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 and vending machines.

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

North Star Reach is a nonprofit organization and family camp in Pinckney that serves children with chronic and life-threatening health challenges in the Great Lakes region.

Blosser said North Star Reach 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.

Southfield resident Yazi Shamina will be participating in the market for the sixth year.

Shamina said she makes vases and small ceramics, such as mugs, plates and salad bowls, and draws inspiration from her home country of Iraq.

“Most of my pieces are related to where I come from,” she said. “We came to the United States in 1994. … There is continuous war in Iraq, so we left after Desert Storm.”

After moving to the U.S., Shamina said, she took the opportunity to study ceramics at Oakland Community College, which she otherwise would not have been able to do.

“I never touched clay back home. Once you graduate, you don’t have another chance to study whatever you like. You graduate and that’s it — you have to work.”

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