The Peninsula Potters

calendar icon May 2, 2024 - July 6, 2024

Starting May 2 and going through July 6, the Blue Hill Public Library will present a group show in the Howard Room Cases, “The Peninsula Potters,” a group that represents about 20 artists from around the Blue Hill Peninsula. This will be an incredible opportunity to view a wide variety of pottery from the area that will be on display, and available for purchase. Sales will benefit the library. The public is invited to a reception for the show on Friday, June 7 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

The Peninsula Potters is a local guild of nationally-recognized and emerging artists, with an expansive range of work that includes striking functional work, as well as refined art pieces. They began in the late 1990s as a group of ceramic artists from the Deer Isle and Blue Hill areas, and many had ties to Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Lansing Wagner, now working out of his studio in East Blue Hill, says: “I made pots for ~ 30 years at the Harvard Ceramics Studio before moving to Maine. I have done some scientific illustration and enjoy designing pots with creatures on them. Big bowls are my favorite, they are useful and provide a large canvas to draw on.”

Quotes from some of the artists get to the essence of what it is about making pottery that is important to them, and how they share that with others. Melody Lewis-Kane of Clayforms Pottery in Sedgwick makes elegant tableware and teapots that can be ordered in a variety of colors, as well as nature inspired pieces that incorporate found natural objects. She says, “Using handmade objects brings ritual into our lives that has been lost in the rush of contemporary times.”  Surry potter Ellen Sedgwick’s style is quite different—wood-fired stoneware. She offers via her website: “There is a sense of presence and timelessness that I feel when making and firing my pottery and I believe this is contained within the final piece.”

Surry potter Vivian Pyle’s pieces are colorful and bold. She says that her influences “range from Chinese prehistoric pots to European 19th-century porcelain to mid-20th century ceramic design and the work of contemporary American ceramic artists.”  She says she is inspired by frequent museum visits and the wonders of nature.

The group hosts two open studio weekends per year, one in early August and the other on Indigenous People’s Weekend in October, where people can visit member studios and see the artists working. This group show offers an unusual opportunity to view many of their works in one place!

The exhibit will be available for viewing starting May 2nd, subject to the Howard Room meeting schedule. For more information, call the library at 374-5515.

Quotes about The Peninsula Potters:

“I love to make functional ware with glazes that reflect the ever-changing world of Maine’s nature”. Nancy Morris, Sedgwick.

“Making functional clay pieces by hand that hopefully will be held in another’s hand is vitally important to my sense of being human”. Marcia Kola, Mountainville Studios, Deer Isle.

“Pottery for me is alchemy; the magical transformation of our environmental elements into beautiful wares”. Nancy Morris, Sedgwick.