Support Your Local Potter
Way before the "buy local" movement was cool, my Grandma Eleanore was its champion. Every birthday gift she bought for her 40-some grandchildren was from Mohiser's or another Park Ridge, Illinois mainstay. When she bought a summer home in South Haven, Michigan, she quickly made herself familiar with all of the community businesses by going out of her way to support them. And even though the donuts from Golden Brown Bakery were way less-than-thrilling, she bought them every Sunday after church, without fail.
One of her more unique patronages was Blue Star Pottery, a ceramics studio in South Haven. She made friends with the potter, Mark Williams, and purchased his wares for herself and many others. A few people in my family have continued this tradition. Thanks to a wedding gift from my Aunt Sheila, I'm the proud owner of one of Mark's beautiful soup tureens. It's probably the only object I worry about my children breaking.
I've started to give Mark's pottery to friends and family and, since handmade ceramics are all the rage right now, I'm feeling real pleased with myself. I'm also starting to check out some other potters who are making unique work for reasonable prices. And there's so much beautiful stuff out there, I just needed to share a few of my favorite artists, in time for the holidays. They may not be "local" to you, in the literal sense, but, you get the idea.
Felt + Fat (Philadelphia)
Meha Magic (Chicago)
Sawyer Ceramics (San Diego)
Alexandria Cummings Ceramics (Portland)
Pawena Studio (Los Angeles)
Julianne Ahn (New York)
Beautiful stuff, right? Other suggestions? I'd love more Chicago options!
Cover photo by Alexandria Cummings ceramics.