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 Steve Potter pulls pieces of pottery from a raku kiln at his workshop in Farmington Hills.

Steve Potter pulls pieces of pottery from a raku kiln at his workshop in Farmington Hills.

Photo provided by Steve Potter


Farmington, Hills residents featured in annual Potters Market

By: Jonathan Shead, Kayla Dimick | Farmington Press | Published December 3, 2019

 Farmington-based potter Dave Albrecht created this polar bear sculpture.

Farmington-based potter Dave Albrecht created this polar bear sculpture.

Photo provided by Dave Albrecht

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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.”

Farmington Hills resident Steve Potter, 56, who has been making pottery for 20 years, will be one of those new faces at the show.

As a newcomer, Potter said, he’s excited to be involved this year for a number of reasons: It allows him to showcase his creations and, hopefully, sell them; he has an opportunity to connect with other local potters and find inspiration; and he can observe the organizational process that goes into a market of this caliber.

“As a newbie to this show, it’s just interesting to watch what they actually have to do to just put it on,” he said. “It’s a production … a destination. It’s pretty cool from that standpoint.”

Potter will mainly be selling a collection of decorative lidded vases this year, among a few other items, which were created using a variety of potting techniques. He said he never uses the same exact process twice, making each of his products unique.

Farmington resident Dave Albrecht, 77, has been making pottery for 15 years. This will be his 11th year participating in the market.

Albrecht said that as participation in the market has continued to grow, he’s started creating sculptures to showcase and sell as a way to set himself apart from the crowd.

“This has typically been a market where you get functional pottery, or ornamental or holiday-type items,” he said. “I’ve kind of gone against the grain here with the sculpture because it’s not very functional, and it’s not very holiday-esque. So if you want to diversify, I’m the guy.”

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.

Potter encourages people to come check out the market, whether it be his pottery or others. He believes there’s something everyone can enjoy.

“The vast majority of people at the show are very talented, and the variety of things you can find there is really cool,” he said. “There’s something for everyone as far as pottery is concerned, whether it’s Christmas ornaments, bowls, platters, decorative art pieces or wall hangings. It covers the gambit.”

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

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