During the Potters Market, new items are routinely rotated onto shelves.

During the Potters Market, new items are routinely rotated onto shelves.

Photo provided by Linda Ashley

Potters Market returns after two-year hiatus

Tens of thousands of ceramic pieces on sale Dec. 1-4

By: Andy Kozlowski | Metro | Published November 21, 2022


SOUTHFIELD — After COVID put it on hold for two years, the Potters Market is back in time for the holiday season, with more than 35,000 pieces of pottery on offer from 124 artists, including 55 artists making their debut at the show.

Now in its 45th year, the Potters Market will take place inside the Southfield municipal complex at 26000 Evergreen Road from Thursday, Dec. 1 through Sunday, Dec. 4.

Preview night runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 1. For a $10 admission fee, attendees will get a first look. Admission is then free for the following three days: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 2, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Dec. 3, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4. Parking is also free.

For over 30 years, the event was a holiday tradition in Madison Heights, held at the UFCW Hall. The event relocated to the city of Southfield seven years ago.

The pottery selection is massive, crafted by artists from across the Midwest, and features both functional and decorative pieces — including some that are silly and fun. Expect to see pots, vases, platters, tiles, mugs, bird baths, jewelry, ceramic-framed mirrors, sculptures, lamps, tile-topped tables and more. While some pieces cost hundreds of dollars, there are thousands of more affordable pieces in the bulk area, where prices range from $5 to $40.

“It is such a great feeling to have the Potters Market finally back after a two-year hiatus,” said Linda Ashley, the event’s spokesperson, in an email. “COVID hit the community of potters very hard, like it did for so many people. The show is an important part of the artists’ yearly income, so that was a big blow. In addition, there is a tremendous sense of community among the potters when they have this opportunity to come together, make connections and celebrate their love of pottery making. We all missed that so much, and it is so great to be back together.”

During the event, new pieces are continually cycled onto the shelves, so what you see during one lap around the hall may be different on the next. In this way, the event rewards repeat visitors day to day and even hour to hour.

The market typically draws more than 8,000 customers each year. Adding to its uniqueness is the fact that the potters run everything, from stocking shelves to working the registers. There will also be amenities such as a free coat check and ATM access. The potters are also happy to check the backroom for additional stock.

“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,” explained Bridget Blosser, the market manager, in a statement.

This year’s event will also support Leader Dogs for the Blind, with participating artists donating artwork, the proceeds of which go to the cause.

Among the new artists at the show are potters such as Mingjie Zhang, originally from China and now in Michigan by way of California, who creates porcelain work in various eye-catching glazes; Holly and Richard Purcell, who recently founded the Clawson Clay Guild, a large community studio featuring many other artists participating in the market; and Rachael Polakoff, a resident of West Bloomfield and newcomer to the scene who took up pottery after her children started college.

“There is nothing like the Potters Market when it comes to shopping for holiday gifts, and it is definitely a shopping tradition for so many people,” Ashley said. “It seems like everyone wanted to know when the Potters Market was coming back. Many people come every year with their friends and relatives just to enjoy walking through the aisles, and seeing all the different kinds of creative artistry by these gifted artists at every turn.

“And then of course you can get something in every price category,” she added. “It means you can get a hand-crafted work of art by a local artist for everyone on your list. What could be a better, more personal gift?”

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