“I’m a potter primarily making tableware. I guess the big thing that is unique about my work is that it’s decorated with imagery and decal transfers. I do a line of work that’s specifically political in nature and a line of work that is a lot more decorative with floral imagery.
I grew up in Goshen. I spent the first 20-ish years of my life living here and went to all of the Goshen schools – Parkside Elementary School, Goshen Middle School; Actually, before that, it was Whiteman Junior High. I went to Bethany Christian Schools, I graduated from Goshen High School, and I went to Goshen College. I have deep roots in Goshen. I moved to Pittsburgh after college and lived there for 10 years. My wife is also from Goshen, and when we started our family, we wanted to be in a more rural setting closer to family. Goshen seemed like a good place to be.
This is our ninth year for the Michiana Pottery Tour. I helped to start it along with Dick Lehman and Mark Goertzen. This is, of course, our first time having a tour in the midst of a pandemic. We’re going essentially all virtual, with all the artists who are participating setting up their own online sales platforms through either their own websites or Etsy or Shopify or through phone or video chat. From a personal standpoint, since March, when things shut down, online sales have been pretty steady for me. This feels like an obvious transition into a broader group effort.
From a marketing standpoint, not a lot has changed. As a collective group, we’re marketing the Michiana Pottery Tour website and listing all of the participating potters on that website, with direct links to their sales platforms and social media feeds and phone numbers, and all that. From a collector’s standpoint or customer standpoint, it looks a lot different than previous years because it’s all virtual. Shopping can happen from your living room or your smartphone. There are a lot of local folks from Goshen and southern Michigan and the surrounding sort of 50-mile radius participating, but there are also a lot of artists from far away. We’ve got folks from Canada and Utah and Pennsylvania, Nebraska, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, and Kentucky. Customers can shop from all over the country just from their smartphones. Some of these artists don’t do a lot of online sales, so there will be a lot of new work to see from the safety and comfort of your own home.”