Boulder Potters’ Guild brings the work of nearly 40 members to Boulder County Fairgrounds – Boulder Daily Camera



For over 50 years, members of the Boulder Potters’ Guild have created various artistic vases and sculptures that add a terrific touch to interiors.

Courtney Puig answers questions about her pottery pockets on November 7, 2019, during the Boulder Potters’ Guild Pottery and Art Sale at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont. (Cliff Grassmick / Personal Photographer)

The band’s highly anticipated show – featuring everything from mug mugs to dainty vases – returned Thursday to the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont.

The non-profit organization put on a show over the summer that drew many enthusiastic buyers and with a number of additional artists presenting new works, this week’s event is even more engaging.

A ceramic bowl by Rita Vali. (Rita Vali / Courtesy photo)

“We have more members participating this fall, so we’re excited to be booming and showcasing ceramics from over 35 artists,” said Rita Vali, artist and president of the Boulder Potters’ Guild. “As people spent more time at home during the pandemic, there is a kind of pent-up demand not only to go out and go to events, but also to enrich their daily rituals around food and drink. ‘animate their homes. “

The organizers anticipate a large turnout for each day of the event which runs through Sunday.

“Since our classes restarted this fall, they’ve filled up quickly as people want in-person experiences and learning as well,” said Vali. “Pottery is so tactile and can be so therapeutic, creative and functional too. “

In addition to running the guild, Vali spends a lot of time creating work that reflects her time as a biochemist working in a biomedical research lab.

“My background is in botany and microbiology, so images from these sources are abundant in my works,” said Vali. “I am also inspired by graphic textiles and patterns from nature in general. I always collect images to be inspired by my designs – twisted wood, unusual pods and plants, vintage lampshades.

Attendees can expect to see Vali’s functional porcelain pottery with brightly colored interiors and iconic graphic patterns wrapped in a smooth, satin glaze.

A ceramic “twig tea set” by Rita Vali. (Rita Vali / Courtesy photo)

While the show once again welcomed many returning members, it also provided a platform for new entrants to the show to shine.

“My interest in clay was sparked while growing up in the southern Utah desert near Zion National Park,” said Lauren Sievers, who joined the guild a month ago and manages the group social media. “My favorite memories from my childhood are playing in dirt and mud. I took my very first ceramic class in high school. I knew from the moment I touched clay and sitting around the potter’s wheel I had just started the rest of my life in. Clay and ceramic artist are what I have dedicated my life to.

While much of Sievers ‘previous work was rooted in gallery-ready sculpture, she recently produced an assortment of intriguing coffee mugs, bowls, and other dinnerware that are sure to enhance n’ any meal.

“Arches Checkers Mug” by Lauren Sievers. (Lauren Sievers / Courtesy photo)

“The arch-shaped structures and patterns in my work refer to and symbolize the wilderness I grew up in,” Sievers said. “Over the past year, I have been researching architecture and the built environment, which has led me to create checkerboard patterns on my functional pieces. I love the checkerboard patterns for their structure, but also because it gives me a feeling of control that I can then manipulate as I wish.

Sievers is a recent graduate from the University of Colorado at Boulder and her final year has proven to offer its own challenges and rewards.

“My last year at CU was not what I thought it would be,” Sievers said. “I remember my last day on campus, right before it all ended. Everyone in the studio was gathered for the mid-spring review when an email was sent announcing the campus closure due to COVID-19. “

Despite the pandemic and the unusual circumstances and restrictions it spawned, Sievers has continued creatively.

“When fall arrived, I made the decision to stay home, finishing my senior year at remote CU,” Sievers said. “During the summer, I was able to set up a studio in my parents’ garage where I did all my work for my BFA show. There were exceptions when I returned to the studio on campus, mixing and crafting my clay and glazes and, of course, firing my work. It was emotionally difficult to be there – to see a place that was once so full of life come to a halt in still, eerie silence.

She ended up presenting her BFA show, “Traces”, on Zoom.

“’Traces’ is a collection of desert-inspired sculptures based on the memory of the place,” said Sievers. “The collection includes arches, altars and mud cracks.”

“Arches” by Lauren Sievers. (Lauren Sievers / Courtesy photo)

Inspired by the earthly formations, patterns and feelings found in his desert home – his source of education – the assortment is both reminiscent of things one can find on dry land, but also carries a sense of fiery abstraction.

“I try to maintain a balance between my functional and sculptural work in my practice,” Sievers said. “I like the way they educate themselves, push me to play.”

From charming figurines to various plant holders, a representative sample of members’ items will appeal to all tastes.

“I’m very happy to be able to do this show again in person,” said Cris Conklin, a member of the Boulder Potters’ Guild since 1995. “It’s always wonderful to see my fellow guild members and connect with our customers. in person . “

Conklin dabbled in a variety of mediums, but after taking a ceramics class in her senior year at college, she knew she had found her true passion.

A vase by Cris Conklin. (Cris Conklin / Courtesy Photo)

“I worked as a potter for most of my life,” Conklin said. “My work is inspired by my love of animals and plants, as well as my love of color and texture.”

Works of art from a wide range of designers are offered at different prices.

“I have a selection of functional salt fire pottery as well as some brand new ornaments,” Conklin said. “I’m particularly excited about a few new colors I’ve worked with recently. “

The inviting atmosphere of the show is one that fosters many conversations between talented designers and curious buyers.

“I can talk about anything clay-related all day,” Sievers said. “I hope everyone who comes to the show feels the excitement that we potters feel when we open the oven after a successful firing.”


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