Members of the Kenai Potters Guild contributed work to the Guild’s annual Christmas show, which was held on Saturday in the Guild’s studio at the Kenai Fine Arts Center. The variety of work on display ranged from functional items such as mugs, vases, teapots, and plates to purely decorative sculptures of cats and grinning faces. The pieces for sale had been donated to by the Pottery Guild members who created them, while the sale’s proceeds would help maintain the studio and its equipment.
“There are so many fees,” said Guild member Christina Kramer. “It’s kind of expensive to run the kilns and pay for everything. So the sale helps.”
The non-profit Potter’s Guild has existed since 1973, and is housed in a leased studio at the Kenai Fine Arts Center. Among the equipment the Guild makes available to members are two electric kilns, a larger gas-fired kiln, a work table, and six potter’s wheels. Guild treasurer Karen Monelle said that the Guild’s membership includes both amateur and professional potters, and that the established members teach two yearly classes for beginners.
“We have a wide range of people here,” said Monelle. “One of the nice things is that all of those professional potters who make a living at it are always willing to stop and help anybody. It’s like an instant class whenever one of them is in the house.”
Monelle described the items she had donated to the show as “little goofy things.” They included a sculpted cat and a glazed mug. Monelle said she had been a member of the guild for about four and a half years, since moving to Kenai from Connecticut.
“It was a place you could meet a lot of folks, and have some fun,” she said. Monelle began her pottery-making with workshops put on by the guild, which she said was “a great way to get started.”
The Pottery Guild’s next series of classes will be held on Thursday evenings, beginning Jan. 8.
Kramer, a pottery guild member for a year and a half, said she hadn’t contributed items to this year’s sale because she hadn’t produced enough work. Kramer said she still considers herself a “complete beginner.”
“This place has meant so much to me since I started taking classes,” she said. “I come here to let my creativity flow, just relax. This is where I come to relax, and learn, and be artistic.”