The Nicodemus Center for Ceramic Studies at Penn State Mont Alto and the Mont Alto Pottery Guild will hold an open house on Saturday, October 15, from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The open house is free to the public and will feature a pottery-making workshop in the center’s studio, room 008, General Studies building on the campus of Penn State Mont Alto. The center’s executive director and guild founder, James Smith, and other guild members will lead the hands-on workshop. During the open house, visitors will have the opportunity to make pottery and sculptural objects in clay using coil construction, slab building and the potter’s wheel. Workshop participants at this year’s Cumberland Valley Pottery Festival, held on September 17 at Renfrew Park, Waynesboro, are encouraged to visit the open house to glaze the pieces they made at the festival. Once glazed, the pieces will be fired and available for pick up at the center’s studio after November 1.
The Mont Alto Pottery Guild was founded in 2003 as a ceramic arts cooperative by the Nicodemus Center. Membership in the guild is available to any individual who has completed either a ceramic studio class at the college level or the center’s introductory pottery class, led by Tom McFarland and James Smith. The cost to participate in the guild is currently $45 a month or $125 for three months. Membership allows use of the pottery studio at the Mont Alto campus and covers the cost for clay, glazes, tools and firings.
In 2011, members of the pottery guild have or will have participated in the Hagerstown Community Free Clinic Potter’s Bowl, Mothers’ Day Pottery sale, Council for the Arts of Chambersburg Collector’s Choice auction, Humane Society of Washington County’s LuHowl fundraiser, Chambersburg’s ChamberFest Arts Celebration Day, Shippensburg’s Corn Festival, Cumberland Valley Pottery Festival, Penn National Farmers’ Market, Waynesboro’s Market Day, Penn National Holiday Bazaar, Wilson College’s Handmade for the Holiday sale and the pottery guild’s end-of-semester holiday sale. For the year, the guild also conducted two community pit-firings and four community Raku firings.