Kenai Potters Guild member Judy Brandt loads a gas-fired kiln with cups and bowls made by Guild members on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 at the group’s studio in Kenai. The Potters guild is preparing for a busy winter with weekly classes, a “Clay on Display” art show presently sitting in the Kenai Fine Art Center gallery, and a new kind of kiln which they’ll be experimenting with this weekend. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Kenai Potters Guild member Judy Brandt loads a gas-fired kiln with cups and bowls made by Guild members on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017 at the group’s studio in Kenai. The Potters guild is preparing for a busy winter with weekly classes, a “Clay on Display” art show presently sitting in the Kenai Fine Art Center gallery, and a new kind of kiln which they’ll be experimenting with this weekend. (Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion)

Potters Guild receives Alaska Community grant

The Kenai Potters Guild is spinning in style after receiving a grant from the Alaska Community Foundation.

The grant administered by the Alaska Community Foundation’s affiliate, the Kenai Peninsula Foundation, was used to purchase two electric wheels for the guild.

“The older wheels were sold to individuals and are now being used in home studios,” according to a statement from the guild. “The new electric pottery wheels are used in the shaping (known as throwing) of round ceramic ware and for trimming. The studio now has six fully functional potters’ wheels.”

The guild plans to use the wheels to further pottery’s growth on the Kenai Peninsula through their studio space, workshops, classes, sales and exhibits, and to further their involvement in local events, like the Kenai Peninsula Food Bank’s Annual Soup Supper. This year, members donated 219 bowls to the event.

“Helping feed the hungry by providing handmade soup bowls has been an important community service project for our potters. We have many very talented artists who enjoy working to help those in our community,” said Kenai Potters Guild President Debbie Adamson.

The guild can be found throughout the community in other places too, like the Kenai Fine Arts Center.

Throughout October, the guild has hosted an exhibit titled “Clay on Display” featuring more than 100 pieces. Although the exhibit will come down in November, the guild will be back at the Kenai Fine Arts Center on Saturday, Dec. 8 for their annual pottery sale. The event starts at 10 a.m. and all proceeds go to the Kenai Potters Guild.

The grant money for the new pottery wheels came from the Kenai Peninsula Foundation. The group is an affiliate of the Alaska Community Foundation, a public foundation in the midst of a $100 million endowment campaign benefiting Alaska nonprofits. By building the Alaska Fund, a charitable endowment designed to meet the most pressing needs and greatest opportunities in Alaska for generations to come, the Alaska Community Foundation has been able to reach nearly $90 million in contributions with more than 4,000 donations from 1,600 donors.

“We are seeing great enthusiasm from Alaskans who want to give back to their communities,” noted Nina Kemppel, ACF President and CEO. “Donations are coming in at all levels from people who have raised their families and built their businesses in our state. The Alaska Fund and other endowments offer a way for Alaskans to give back to the state we all love and call home. ACF is excited to use these gifts to support nonprofit organizations and communities across Alaska.”

The Kenai Peninsula Foundation awards up to $1,000 to Central Peninsula nonprofit organizations in an effort to build up the local community.

For more information, visit kenaipeninsulafoundation.org.

Reach Kat Sorensen at ksorensen@peninsulaclarion.com

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