American Pottery Festival 2014 Wrap-up

Thank you to the 2014 American Pottery Festival artists for immersing yourselves into the NCC community over our fundraiser weekend, and for sharing your expertise and techniques, your big ideas, and your great work.  Thank you volunteers — for chauffeuring artists and food, sweeping the courtyard, assisting shoppers, and unpacking (and packing) pots. Thank you Collector Adventurers — for your devotion to learning and for your active participation with the artists and collections.  Thank you students — for driving from Nebraska, flying in from Alaska (and beyond!), to attend workshops and ask great questions. Thanks to our partners and donors for helping to underwrite workshops, and contributing savory treats, muffins, and more.  Thank you shoppers for coming through our doors to see the great work created by this year’s select group of APF potters; we are thrilled that so many of you purchased new treasures for your home or as gifts to send out into the world!   Thank you staff for your tireless contributions to the success of this event. 

This year’s event had many successes (in terms of numbers and warm fuzzies), some of which include:

  • 80 pizzas were cooked for artists, volunteers, and our visitors in our new, wood-fired pizza oven
  • 22 APF artists were in town — hailing from New York to Alaska
  • 75 people attended slide talks on Sunday
  • 15 Ron Meyers’ enthusiasts purchased autographed copies of his book (and by autograph, we mean that he signed and created full-page illustrations of his fantastical critters!)
  • 32 makers came together to discuss wood-fired kilns and the effects of various firing methods
  • 38 staff, artists, and volunteers came together at the close of the show on Sunday to break down the entire show — packing up remaining pots in just two hours
  • Continental Clay, The Red Wing Collectors Society Foundation, and Smith-Sharpe Firebrick Supply all purchased a piece this year for their permanent collections.
  • 11 Collector Adventurers spent three days traveling from artist studios, to personal collections, to museum collections, to lectures and workshops at NCC
  • 1 pot sold every two minutes of this three day event, ranging in price from $24 – $1200

The less tangible, harder to measure successes included warm fuzzies, community building, a plethora of “aha” moments, reunions between long-lost clay friends (especially the Utah grads), and smiles, hugs, and purchased pots. 

Again, thank you to everyone who played a role in this year’s event.  We look forward to seeing you next September!

Did you take a great picture during APF that you’d like to share?  Email it

Board Member Craig Bishop helps NCC welcome Ron Meyers back to town.  Ron demonstrated his wheel-throwing and illustrating techniques and showed a retrospective image presentation of his work while at APF.  He also signed copies of his book for enthusiastic collectors like Cathy Bishop, who was fortunate enough to get an illustration, too!  NCC has more signed copies of this book and a selection of Ron’s pots in stock.

Beth Lo gave the closing lecture and demonstration at APF.  She demonstrated her drawing techniques and spoke about the influence of her family on her work.  She collaborated with her sister to write and illustrate (through images of her pots) a children’s book about their experience growing up as a Chinese-American family in the Midwest.  The title is Auntie Lang’s Great Soybean Picnic, and NCC will have a selection of signed copies available for purchase this holiday season.

2014 APF artist Brett Freund with a happy shopper!  NCC Member Steve Basile came during the Members Preview Hour to be sure he got just the right Gem Jar for his collection!  If you missed APF weekend, you can go online to shop from over 150 pots.

2014 APF artists Kari Smith (New Mexico) and Lindsay Oesterritter (Kentucky).  

Opening Night Party with NCC resident artist Michelle Summers, Exhibitions Manager Mike Arnold, and UMN graduate student (and event volunteer) Candice Methe.

Shoppers at the APF Opening Night Benefit Party and Sale.