Lori Rogers, of Clawson, will return to the Potters Market with a wide array of ceramic goods.

Lori Rogers, of Clawson, will return to the Potters Market with a wide array of ceramic goods.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley


Local artists to represent at 44th annual Potters Market

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published November 19, 2019

  Jan Bostwick, of Royal Oak, throws clay on a potter’s wheel at her home. She describes her style as simple with an established color palette.

Jan Bostwick, of Royal Oak, throws clay on a potter’s wheel at her home. She describes her style as simple with an established color palette.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

 A pot by Royal Oak couple Paddy and Greg Skwira shows their focus on carving and texture.

A pot by Royal Oak couple Paddy and Greg Skwira shows their focus on carving and texture.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

SOUTHFIELD — The 44th annual Potters Market will return to the 17,000-square-foot Southfield Pavilion Thursday, Dec. 5, through Sunday, Dec. 8, and will feature 150 potters from the region.

For many, it’s a one-stop shop for all of their holiday needs. The potters themselves staff the event and provide daily pottery demonstrations.

Admission and parking are free Dec. 6-8. The market includes handcrafted ceramic sculptures, teapots, lamps, cookware, birdhouses, soap dispensers, jewelry, ornaments, vases, tiles, mugs, furniture, lawn decorations and much more.

For more than 30 years, until it grew too large, the Potters Market was held at the United Food & Commercial Workers Local 876 in Madison Heights. Now, the event draws more than 8,000 visitors, and last year, artists reported the sale of more than 33,000 pieces.

“This is our sixth year in the Southfield Civic Center, and the new location has proven a great success. Pottery lovers have come out in droves to Southfield,” event manager Bridget Blosser said in a prepared statement. “The new facility is bigger and gives us the opportunity to add even more potters (to the roster each year). The huge increase of floor space allows for wider aisles and more on the pottery on the floor.”

Blosser, of Royal Oak, is the widow of the late Charlie Blosser, who founded the Potters Market and died in 2014. He was a staple of the pottery community and a longtime educator who headed the ceramics department at Oakland Community College.

“The advantage of this sale is that we constantly restock,” Blosser said in a prepared statement. “If a shopper finds an item on display but would like to get it in a different size or color or buy more of the item, it is only necessary to go to the customer service area and our potters will find what is available in the stock room.”

Three local longtime potters will return to the Potters Market to present their wares and enjoy a reunion of the pottery community.

Jan Bostwick, of Royal Oak, first became acquainted with clay while in college in 1976. She worked for General Motors for 20 years, then left to pursue a full-time career in pottery.

“It was a big decision, but my life now is more like an adventure. I get to travel all over the United States doing art fairs, and (I) meet a lot of people,” Bostwick said. “I do about 23 shows a year.”

She converted her garage into a home studio and also recently began to teach an introductory pottery class at the Michigan Art Center in Garden City.

Bostwick said she looks forward to the Potters Market each year, and this year, she is going to feature casserole dishes with recipes on the back for a hot dip, as well as square mugs, sets of plates and bowls, and clocks.

“I have a simple style, and I have about eight different color combinations, so the people buying can add to their collections,” she said. 

Paddy Skwira, of Royal Oak, wanted to be a potter as a child, influenced by a family friend who was a potter, and graduated with an art major in 1970. She became an art teacher and returned to pottery in 1990 after taking a class at OCC.

“Once you get clay under your fingernails, it’s hard to get it out, and it just kind of becomes a part of me. I’ve been making pots ever since,” Skwira said. “(The Potters Market) is wonderful. A lot of us are professional potters, and some are student potters. All year long, we’re competitive, but at this one, we work in community, and it’s a really nice show.”

She and her husband, Greg, work together in their garage, which their son converted into a home studio. She said that they are functional potters, with a preference for dark clay decorated with carving and texturing.

“Our pots help with the celebration part of making a meal a little more special with a hand-thrown pot,” she said.

Lori Rogers, of Clawson, has a storied life journey, which includes stints in Los Angeles and Alaska, a 25-year career as a professional musician, the founding of a greeting card company, and lately, designing and installing solar panels. This will be her 19th year as a vendor at the Potters Market.

“I have kind of a diverse repertoire of ceramic stuff I do — jewelry, decorative bowls, night lights, magnets. I just like creating things, and I like functional things that people can use,” Rogers said. “This year, I added a number of new tile designs.”

Proceeds from this year’s sales will benefit North Star Reach, located in Pinckney, Michigan, a nonprofit organization that offers children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses a chance to enjoy the experience of camp.

Preview night will take place 6-9 p.m. Dec. 5, for which admission will cost $10. Regular show hours will be 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. Strollers are not permitted because of the crowds.

The Southfield Pavilion is located at 26000 Evergreen Road, between 10 Mile and 11 Mile roads.

For more information, visit www.thepottersmarket.com or email info@thepottersmarket.com.