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EXPRESSIONS POTTERY WORKSHOP

2022-05-24 | HOPE TREMBLAY

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For 50 years, Expressions Pottery Workshop has enhanced the arts and cultural scene in the greater East Granby region.

Established in 1972, the co-op started with 25 artists and continued to grow over the next five decades.

Artist Andrea Gaedeke has been a member of the Workshop since 1978 and said the co-op artists and their work is constantly growing.

“We are always evolving, with new forms, firing techniques, surface decorations, glazes, etc.,” she said. “We also learn through workshops presented by members and outside artists.”

The Expressions Pottery Workshop website states that the founders were “energetic potters who found a warm synergy with one another and the desire to share knowledge, experience, and equipment.” Gaedeke says that is still true today.

“We all maintain a strong commitment to both our art and our community,” Gaedeke said.

According to expressionspottery.com,

Expressions has grown over the last several decades and now provides a warm and friendly facility to over 50 local potters including members, renters and students representing a range of experience from beginners to quite accomplished potters.

In addition to Gaedeke – one of the longest members of the group - the other 49 artists in the co-op all bring a unique perspective to Expressions. While some artists, including Debbye Rosen and Tracy Marlor, have been potting for 40 -plus years, some artist such as Sandy Stevens, began more recently.

Stevens did not have her hands in clay until 2011 when her youngest daughter asked to take a pottery class together. Stevens was hooked from the start and joined the co-op four years ago.

Ruth George is a self-proclaimed passionate potter who discovered pottery in the 70s.Taking a break from her art to travel and raise her family, George’s love was rekindled recently and she joined Expressions in 2019 with a focus on the Japanese art of Raku.

For some Expressions artist, pottery is an expressive outlet, passion or hobby, for many, it is also how they make a living.

“We derive income from monthly member dues, renter payments, and student fees,” Gaedeke said.

Expressions Pottery Workshop offers day and evening classes four times a year, which are taught by studio-certified teachers. Classes are generally geared for beginning and intermediate students. Class sizes are small with a maximum of nine students to ensure the needs of the novice potter are met, while also challenging the more skilled potter. Advanced potters may want to consider becoming a renter or member, states the Expressions website.

Expressions also has a gallery to showcase the work of its members. Located at the studio at 9 School St., East Granby, the gallery features high-quality ceramic gifts. Gaedeke said that contemporary and traditional wheel-thrown and hand-built stoneware, porcelain, raku, saggar, and wood-fired creations are displayed and for sale.

“From functional to whimsical to decorative, we have something for everyone on your gift list. All glazes used on our functional pottery are food-safe and lead-free and are microwave, oven, and dishwasher safe,” she stated.

The studio is open Saturdays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and whenever members are in the studio. Gaedeke said visitors should contact the co-op for additional hours and visit the website for extended holiday openings.

Annual events include Perennials & Pots, Saturday, June 4, from 10 a.m.-4p.m. and the Empty Bowls fundraiser Saturday, Oct. 15.

The 11th Annual Perennials & Pots event includes recent works such as garden-inspired handmade pottery – planters, birdfeeders and birdhouses, vases, bowls, platters, sculpture, and more.

Meet the potters, take a tour of the studio, and browse the gallery and under the tents – rain or shine.

Every fall, Expressions Pottery Workshop participates in the Empty Bowls fundraiser organized by the Women's Club of East Granby and helps host an afternoon of soup and art at the East Granby Community Center to benefit the East Granby Food Pantry.

Attendees select from one of over 400 beautiful, handmade soup bowls, made by Expressions Pottery Workshop members and students, and have it filled with soup donated by participating restaurants. After enjoying a soup lunch, attendees can visit the Expressions Pottery studio at 9 School St. for dessert and wheel-throwing demonstrations.

Expressions Pottery Workshop is located at9 School St., East Granby, CT

860-844-0138 • expressionspottery.com

 

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