The Potters’ Market

The Potters' Market 2015 fox pot

[Update: The Potters’ Market has been cancelled for May 31, 2015, due to a forecast of strong wind gusts, cold and more rain. But please peruse my photos of the previous day.]

It’s indicative of Guelph’s fertile character that one of the cultural events most anticipated (at least among people I know) is a pottery festival. This is not to say that there aren’t many more exciting things to do, more important and more widely attended: Hillside Music Festival, Eden Mills Writers’ Festival, the jazz festival, the film festival, the studio tour, Art on the Street, Fair November, Faery Fest Inc.’s Enchanted Ground and Guelph Pride, to name a few.

What’s surprising about The Potters’ Market is its quality. The website lists 55 vendors this year, and every single one of them creates works of art. Everyone seems to be talking about it. Everyone goes, if they can.

I’ve collected pottery all my life, not on a large scale, but I still have several small spice pots acquired during my teens and twenties. These were beautiful in themselves. But the tools available to potters must have increased exponentially in the past three decades, considering the diaphanous splendour of contemporary ceramics.

Click any of the thumbnails below to view the larger images in a carousel.

One of the things I love about pottery is how, even with such diverse colour and technique, it inevitably expresses the earth from which it emerges. This might be naive because I’ve hardly ever made any pottery myself, but I think you must be inherently grounded in something to make good pots. Everywhere I look I see colours and textures of lava, foliage, sea foam, fungi. These are the kinds of images I like to collect for inspiration.

My partner and I are gradually adding to a small collection of gorgeous, handmade coffee mugs.

The Potters’ Market continues tomorrow, May 31, 2015, from 10 to 5 if you’re lucky to be within driving distance from Guelph. It takes place at the historic Goldie Mill Park. Otherwise, I believe it always happens the last weekend of May. I hope you don’t get drenched as we did, but it’s a warm summer rain and pottery doesn’t dissolve like people do.


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