Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail 
Thirteenth Annual Studio Tour & Sale
April 29th & 30th, 2017

Contact: Tiffany Hilton (413) 824-6506, www.asparagusvalleypotterytrail.com.

Springtime Studio Tour Celebrates Pottery and Local Food

On Saturday and Sunday, April 29 and 30, nine western Mass potters will open their studios to the public for the 13th Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail. This free event features the work and workspaces of nationally-known host potters and 13 guest potters from around New England and as far away as Virginia. Visitors will find tableware of all kinds, sculpture for the garden, and architectural tiles in styles ranging from historical to contemporary, made in work spaces that include restored barns, factory buildings, and small-town storefronts. New guest potters and new work make for a tour that changes every year and reflects the vibrancy and diversity of handmade ceramics. All nine studios will have work for sale, and several will offer demonstrations during the weekend. The tour will be open from 10-5 both days, and welcomes families and visitors of all ages.

Easily reached from Boston, Hartford, and the Albany area, the self-guided tour winds along the beautiful back roads and scenic historic towns of the so-called Asparagus Valley, a local name for the upper Connecticut River valley of western Massachusetts. The Pottery Trail celebrates the rich agricultural history and cultural vitality of the area, as well as the longstanding connection between pottery and food. This year’s tour has inspired two special features: a barbecue and kiln opening on Saturday night at Snow Farm, a local craft school, and “Pottery Trail Ale,” a special beer from local brewery Lefty’s. Visitors are encouraged to eat, stay, and shop while they are in the area, and those who have their “pottery passports” stamped at seven of the nine studios will be eligible for a drawing of pottery featured on the tour.

The studios are clustered in three areas: Northampton/Amherst; Greenfield and the northern Valley; and the Mohawk Trail village of Shelburne Falls. They may be visited in any sequence or combination that suits visitors’ interests and itineraries. Look for the distinctive yellow Pottery Trail signs when leaving the main highways on the weekend of the event. Maps of the tour are available at each studio, and can be downloaded at www.asparagusvalleypotterytrail.com or at www.apotterytrail.com

Potters on the 2017 Tour:

Francine and Frank Ozereko, Pelham ftostudio@comcast.net The husband-and-wife team will show functional, smartly designed cups, bowls, plates, and vases as well as sculptural teapots and narrative wall pieces. Guest Robbie Heidinger will show her modernist soda-fired pottery.

Donna McGee, Hadley www.donnamcgee.com makes earthenware pottery with lively drawings and paintings on the surfaces, and her East Street studio garden will be in spring bloom. Her guests are Megan Hart of Conway, MA, with delicate, expressive drawings on porcelain, and New Hampshire potter Sheilagh Flynn, showing boldly-glazed earthenware vessels.

Tiffany Hilton, Florence www.tiffanyhilton.com In her light-filled studio in the Arts & Industry building Tiffany will be showing tableware that complements food with rich brown and elegant pale glazes. Oval bowls, lidded jars, and dinnerware are a specialty. Guest Cara Taylor makes simple porcelain pots for food and plants, often incorporating fibers into the pieces.
Jamie Guggina, Florence www.coolpots.com makes porcelain dinnerware with bright colors complemented by carved black and white patterns, and wood-fired pottery with warm shino glazes. Guest Christy Knox of Conway Center, NH will show handbuilt pots embossed with natural imagery, and Gabrielle Schaffner of Boston will offer food-friendly porcelain decorated with bold drawings.

Lucy Fagella, Greenfield lucyfagella.com Lucy shows her love of food and garden in pottery for the kitchen and table. She also produces a distinctive line of funerary ware, including biodegradable urns incorporating textures from nature. Visitors to Lucy’s studio will be able to watch pottery being made on the potter’s wheel. Guest: Maureen Mills of Portsmouth, NH, will show thrown and altered pots with luscious layered glazes and sgrafitto designs.

Tom White, Northfield www.tomwhitepottery.comTom‘s pots bear traces of atmospheric firing with salt, soda, and wood, from his own and collaborative kiln firings. Demonstrations, a chance for visitors to try the potter’s wheel, and live music will offer something to visitors of all ages. English-trained Dan Finnegan from Virginia and Sam Taylor, Westhampton, MA will be Tom’s guests.

Molly Cantor, Shelburne Falls www.mollycantor.com Molly’s decorated functional pottery features carved designs inspired by plants, animals, and stories, and she also makes one-of-a-kind animal figures. Guest Liz Rodriguez from Boston will show her colorful pots with a touch of whimsey.

Mary Barringer, Shelburne Falls www.marybarringer.com  makes handbuilt pottery and sculpture with distinctive textured surfaces reminiscent of stones or ancient implements. She will be showing functional platters, bowls, and cups, as well as sculpture for the wall and garden. Guest Todd Wahlstrom Whitingham, VT will once again display his work in a retrofitted Airstream trailer, and Hayne Bayless of Ivoryton, CT will show handbuilt pots with graphic surfaces in slip and glaze.

Stephen Earp, Shelburne Falls www.stevenearp.com. Steve, a Mass Cultural Council “Keeper of the Tradition,” works in the style of traditional redware, the domestic earthenware of the 18th and 19th centuries. He will also show his new blue and white decorated pottery inspired by Delftware. His guest Bob Green’s raku and sagger-fired vessels celebrate the mark of the fire.

For additional information please contact:
Tiffany Hilton at (413) 824-6506 or high_fired@hotmail.com

For digital images please contact:
Francine Ozereko at (413) 253-2664 or ftostudio@comcast.net




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