The Village Potters Clay Center (TVPCC) will host a second chapter of its popular fundraiser, Vessels of Hope. For the original event, Sarah Wells Rolland made and sold 500 pots to help the center raise funds to survive the pandemic. “While this response did help sustain us during the months we were closed, our struggle continues as we are only partially open, with a small fraction of our normal income but ever-present expenses,” says Lori Theriault, resident potter and marketing director at TVPCC. Inquiries continued to pour in long after Rolland’s 500 vessels were sold, so the other potters chose to follow Rolland’s lead and roll out chapter two of the fundraiser.
Participating potters include Theriault, Judi Harwood, Christine Henry, Julia Mann, Tori Motyl and Katie Meili Messersmith. Customers can pre-order vessels from each artist, and each will be creating vessels in their own style. With the extra time she’s had because of the pandemic, Theriault has been focusing on hand-carved designs, which will be featured in each of her vessels for the fundraiser. “It was nice to have the time to slow down and focus on a technique and designs that I love,” she says.
Messersmith is finishing her apprenticeship in the Independent Study and Mentoring program at TVPCC. She is still developing her signature style, so she chose to take on the challenge of creating Rolland’s original Vessels of Hope forms, each made with 2.5 pounds of clay. “They will each be thrown and glazed uniquely, no two alike,” says Messersmith. “Where my pots tend to have clean lines and symmetry, Sarah’s vases had a lot of movement and alterations on the wheel. I hope to try some of her techniques to add motion and dimension to my pots.”
The fundraiser will also feature weekly, online demonstrations from the potters on Facebook and Instagram. Local customers can pick up their Vessels of Hope purchases at the Multi-Kiln Opening Celebration on Saturday, October 3, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. While most of this event will be virtual—including the opening of the Raku, Kazegama, Reduction and Oxidation kilns—there will be a safe and socially distanced option for pick-up.
For more information about Vessels of Hope, online or in-person classes and other online purchases, visit TheVillagePotters.com/Shop.