Potter's Guild: Not Just 'Kiln' Time

By Crystal Campbell
The Northern Colorado Potter’s Guild (NCPG) has only been around for five years, but their impact on the community suggests otherwise.
Located at 209 Christman Drive (close to the intersection of East Mulberry Street and South Timberline Road) in Fort Collins, NCPG has provided support to nearly 30 organizations.
“We were founded to try and foster a community for ceramic arts and the arts in general in northern Colorado,” said President David Ellis. “We are a 60-member non-profit organization and we like to help coordinate efforts for other non-profits.”
The Larimer County Food Bank was the most recent beneficiary of Potters with Purpose – the charitable effort organized by the Northern Colorado Potter’s Guild and its members.
“We hosted a Bowl-a-Thon at our facility and we provided all the clay and food for the event. The food bank has a fundraiser called ‘empty bowls,’ so we had members come in and throw for two to three hours and then we donated the bowls.”
In addition to their charitable activities, NCPG offers classes and workshops to potters wanting to improve their throwing skills. Currently, there are three classes available: a beginning pottery-throwing class on Tuesdays from 6pm to 8pm, improving throwing and fine tuning for all levels on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11am to 1pm, and another improving throwing and fine tuning for all levels class on Thursday nights from 6pm to 8pm.
Each class is $145 for eight weeks, which includes 25 pounds of clay, and all classes are open to the public.
Have a child interested in pottery? NCPG offers children’s classes upon request.
“We have specific classes for children that were set up for homeschooled children by request, but they’re open to all children. We do offer set classes but if there are groups that have specific needs, we reach out to our members to see who can respond to those needs.”
NCPG’s facility is equipped with enough supplies and tools to enhance each artist’s creativity. Presently, the facility has one high fire gas kiln, two electric kilns, and a raku kiln. There is a wheel throwing area with eight wheels, a handbuilding classroom, spray booth, glaze area, and a kitchen area. The use of a slab roller, extruder, and glazers are available for the artist’s convenience. Clay and other supplies are available for members and students to buy and are sold to the public on Saturdays from 10am to 2pm at the studio.
Potters are encouraged to consider a membership because of its many benefits to the member and also because non-profit organizations like NCPG depend on their members to stay up-and-running.
Members receive 24 hour, seven-day-a-week access to the facility, discounts on clay and glaze supplies and instructor opportunities. There are two types of memberships, and apprenticeship opportunities are also available.
“We’re really trying to foster a community of artists in the northern Front Range area,” explained Ellis. “We have a large facility for ceramic art and we welcome all artists to come by. We really just want to create a cool community not only for ceramic art, but for art in general.”
The Northern Colorado Potter’s Guild is located at 209 Christman Drive. Find more information at www.coloradopottery.org.

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