Looking for a PoWerful gift for Christmas?
Then, PoW — Potters of Whidbey — has an event for you.
Hand-crafted coffee cups, beautiful plates, bowls and vases will be among the many ceramic items on sale 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9 at Whidbey Art Escape in Freeland.
Organizing a holiday sale is a first for Whidbey’s many potters, said Clovy Tsuchiya, president of the group that formed this spring.
“We wanted to have the holiday sale as a way to bring some of the sheer variety of clay artists on Whidbey out to the community,” she said. “It was my goal as an organizer to have a low-key sale that would be welcoming to students and hobbyists as well as professionals so anyone could participate and we would have a wider variety of styles and price points.”
Potters of Whidbey is one of many programs under the Whidbey Island Arts Council’s nonprofit umbrella.
Sharing the expense of raw material, such as bulk buying clay or sharing trips to Seattle art stores, is another goal of the informal pod of potters.
“It’s a nice, good resource for them,” said Tina Beard, owner of Whidbey Art Escape, a multi-functional studio where anyone can come in and paint ceramics or take classes in throwing pots or fusing glass.
“Pooling their resources and education and talking about what they’ve struggled with, what they’re happy with, is very valuable,” she said. At Beard’s Clay Studio within Art Escape, 16 potters are members, allowing them access to wheels, kilns and other equipment.
Tsuchiya, 29, studied ceramics at Berea College in Kentucky, then landed an apprenticeship on Whidbey with Robbie Lobell of Cook on Clay from 2012 to 2014.
“I kept running into potters who knew each other or they spoke of other potters on Whidbey,” she said.
“There’s just so many of us between Oak Harbor and Clinton.”
Tsuchiya started Potters of Whidbey with Jordan Jones, whom she shares a house and studio with near Freeland, as a way to connect and collaborate with other ceramic artists.
Smoothing over a clump of spinning clay, Tsuchiya demonstrated why she loves mucking about with muddy minerals.
“With metal and wood, there’s always tools involved.”
“I fell in love with clay because it’s one of the most tactically rewarding art forms.”
• Holiday Pottery Sale is 7-9 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 9 at Whidbey Art Escape, 1664 E. Main Street, Freeland. Potters of Whidbey is under the Whidbey Island Arts Council’s nonprofit umbrella. It’s open to all potters, sculptors, ceramicists, anyone working with clay on Whidbey. Membership is $10. For more information: www.pot tersofwhidbey.wordpress.com