Fernie Potters Guild president Helena de Jong at the studio in Fernie. Kimberley Vlasic/The Free Press

Potters fired up for annual sale

Potters guild to host open house, Friday

More Elk Valley residents are firing the kiln than ever as the ancient art of pottery enjoys a resurgence.

There is now a waitlist to join the Fernie Potters Guild, which has had to cap membership at 50 people and continues to host sellout events.

Members have been working at the wheel in preparation for their annual open house and pottery sale at The Arts Station on Friday, April 6.

“It has doubled in size in two years, so it’s thriving now,” said hobby potter and president, Helena de Jong.

“When I started I think there were 12 people, it was really little and kind of like Fernie’s best kept secret.

“No-one really knew about it, so we’ve been having a drive the last few years to get the word out and increase membership.”

The Guild meets every Tuesday at its pottery studio, which is located in the basement of The Arts Station. The self-funded group also hosts regular classes and workshops.

“We encourage people to have some experience before joining, whether that’s classes out of town or through our guild so that they have an idea of how the process works because it’s all self-directed, there’s no monitoring,” said de Jong.

de Jong took her first pottery class with artist Kerri Holmes five years ago and has been playing with clay ever since.

“I’ve always been an artistic person and I like that nothing is ever the same (in pottery),” she said.

People will have a chance to learn more about the Guild at the open house on Friday, which will feature studio tours and a range of pottery made by local artists.

“We have donation pieces from the Guild and those can range from experiments to nice, well executed pottery then we also have a consignment option for members to sell larger items,” said de Jong.

The open house and pottery sale will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. and include a raffle and appetizers.

Raffle prizes have been donated by The Green Petal, Rooftop Coffee Roasters, Interior Envy, Lysh Hair Salon, Sweet Cakes, Essentially Abundant and Eleanor Tweddell RMT.


These pieces will be available for sale at the Fernie Potters Guild’s annual open house and pottery sale on Friday night. They were made by president Helena de Jong.

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