- Lorie Marsh is a returning artist from South Bend who makes clay miniatures. If memory serves, this will be her third time on the tour, but the first time at my host location.
- Dale Huffman from Pittsburgh will be a first-time participant. Dale is a retired ceramics professor from Carlow University in Pittsburgh. He has a broad international exhibition and teaching history, in addition to his work at the university. He will be showing functional woodfired works and functional cone 6 glazed works.
- Britney Smith, also from Pittsburgh, will be a first-time participant. She graduated from Carlow University and is a former student of Dale Huffman’s. Her works will be mainly functional, soda-fired pieces.
I will be showing cone 10 ‘oni-glazed’ functional and decorative works. The new oni-glazed approach uses up to 10 glazes on each piece. I wrote about this beautiful and complex process for a feature article in Ceramics Monthly Magazine last year.
As a long-term clay artist in Goshen, it is pretty remarkable to see the growth of the clay community over the last 40 years. When I began, I was one of three potters in the region. I was the only one with a full-time retail store; the other two marketed their work primarily/solely through art shows. Moving from that history to a Michiana Pottery Tour event with nine host locations and more than 50 participating clay artists is quite magical.
Additionally, quite a few potters have moved to this region [intentionally]. It was the hope of many of us ‘old-timers’ who are more established here that other clay artists would move to the area, making Northern Indiana/Southern Michigan a national destination for those who love the ceramic arts. It’s gratifying to see that happening right before our eyes. The Michiana Pottery Tour is an instrumental partner in making such a gathering of clay artists possible.
One thing I marvel about is this community’s resilient interest in improving their visual literacy in clay. As we clay artists mature and change our approaches and styles, the community has grown with us in appreciation of that development. It’s gratifying.
The tour, each year, is an opportunity for each host location to invite other clay artists to join in the fun. We intentionally focus on showcasing emerging artists. We try to promote diversity by hosting underrepresented artists of color, and we bring in clay artists from other parts of the country. What emerges is a weekend’s glimpse of what is happening in the larger clay world — but instead of needing to go to it, we bring it to you.
I maintained a retail location at Goshen’s Old Bag Factory for almost 30 years. In recent years, I have been working at my home studio in a “semi-retired” way. As a result, I have much less direct contact with the public than I used to have. I look forward – through the tour – to rubbing shoulders with long-time customers, meeting new collectors, and sharing the rich diversity of the growing clay world.”
Learn more about how to attend this year’s event at michianapotterytour.com.