The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail is back, and if you need blates, you’ll be able to find them at Lucy Fagella Pottery in Greenfield. (Blates are a cross between a bowl and a plate.)
She is part of the 17th annual tour that will be both an online sale and an in-person, outdoor event.
The outdoor event — in compliance with CDC, state and local guidelines for outdoor events at that time — will take place on June 12 and 13; the online sale begins June 11 at noon via apotterytrail.com.
The tour will offer a range of wheel-thrown and hand-built ceramic goods and artwork for tabletop, home and garden as well as the opportunity for visitors to talk with the artists about their work and inspiration.
Fagella will be selling functional pottery for the kitchen such as mugs, snack plates and various bowls like dipping/sauce bowls and soup bowls.
“I love to make different types of useful tool-like items for the kitchen also … citrus juicers, mortar and pestle, garlic keepers, butter keepers, salt cellars, berry bowls and lidded warming pots for the microwave, which also double as storage pots for the refrigerator,” she said. Prices range from $20-$200.
In addition to her functional pottery for the kitchen she has a display in one corner of the studio for her line of cremation urns. Some of these urns are biodegradable, made from clay and paper pulp. “Artist-made urns are a personal way to honor a loved one,” said Fagella, who has been making cremation urns for pets and people since 2005. Prices range from $40-$600.
Francine T. and Frank Ozereko of Ozereko Studios in Pelham will have cups, large platters, bowls, vases, wall pieces, triptychs, large sculptural vases and teapots for sale ranging in price from $25-$850.
“I feel happy to have been among an incredible, committed group of really good potters for the past 16 years of Asparagus Valley Pottery Trails, and look forward to our 17th year,” she said. “I feel that our core group, and the guests that change every year, are professional, friendly, knowledgeable and inspiring. We can all learn from each other.”
Studios are clustered in three areas: Northampton/Amherst; Greenfield and the northern Pioneer Valley; and the Mohawk Trail village of Shelburne Falls.
Fagella, one of the original founders of the pottery trail, said joining potters together with one another makes them all stronger. “It is about cooperation and community rather than competition. … Packing so many talented potters into two days makes for an exciting atmosphere all along the trail.”
The self-guided Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail, named for a fertile stretch of the Connecticut River Valley and its world-famous crop, usually welcomes visitors from throughout the region and the country in late April to explore the creative spaces and processes of 10 members of the area’s tightly-knit community of potters. This year will include 20 ceramic artists at nine studios with guest artists joining from Maine to North Carolina.
Visitors can pick up a Pottery Trail Passport at their first stop. Those who have their passport stamped at seven of the nine studios will be entered to win a mug/cup, and those who succeed in collecting all nine stamps also will be entered to win a set of nine small plates.
“We have created a cultural and touristy event that celebrates spring, beautiful country, small towns, and talented artisans. We have created a community, not only with each other as potters, but with all of our local sponsors, and all of the repeat customers that make this an annual event,” Fagella said.
“We are all so happy to be back!” Ozereko enthused.
Potters on the 2021 Tour:
Francine and Frank Ozereko, Pelham (ozereko.com).
Donna McGee, Hadley (donnamcgee.com). She continues to make pots and tiles and savors each item, moving forward with new materials, surface treatment and themes. Her drawings of fields, flowers and faces are a signature of her work. Ben Eberle of Conway will be her guest. (beneberleceramic.com).
Tiffany Hilton, Florence (tiffanyhilton.com). She will be hosting with friends outdoors at Steve Théberge’s home studio in Florence. She will be showing her dinnerware, serving pieces, planters, vases, bowls and mugs. She specializes in custom dinnerware and wedding gift registries, keeping to durable glazes and minimal surface decoration. She will be joined by Bill Jones of Greensboro, North Carolina (billjonespottery.com) and Théberge (stevetheberge.com).
James Guggina, Florence (coolpots.com). He makes porcelain and stoneware dinnerware complemented with carved patterns and wood-fired pottery with rich glazes. His guests include Gabrielle Schaffner of Boston (gabrielleschaffnerceramics.com) and Liz Rodriguez of Easthampton (lizrodriguezceramics.com).
Lucy Fagella (lucyfagella.com).
Tom White, Northfield (tomwhitepottery.com). His pots bear traces of atmospheric firing with salt, soda and wood from his own and collaborative kiln firings. Sam Taylor of Westhampton, will be his guest (dogbarpottery.com).
Molly Cantor, Shelburne Falls (mollycantor.com). Her functional pottery features block-print-like carved designs inspired by an ever-evolving array of regional plants, animals and stories. As committed to her community as to her craft, she recently opened The Handle Factory community clay center, which will be the new location for her stop on the trail. Her guest will be Rebecca Verrill of Portland, Maine (Rebeccamayverrill.com).
Mary Barringer, Shelburne Falls (marybarringer.com). She makes hand-built pottery and sculpture with distinctive textured surfaces reminiscent of stones or ancient implements. She will be showing functional platters, bowls and cups as well as sculpture for the wall and garden. Her guests will be Julie Wiggins of Charlotte, North Carolina (juliewigginspottery.com) and Todd Wahlstrom and Aysha Peltz of Halifax, Vermont (toddwahlstrom.com, ayshapeltz.com).
Stephen Earp, Shelburne Falls (stevenearp.com). This Massachusetts Cultural Council “Keeper of the Tradition” finds inspiration in historical styles such as traditional New England redware and early blue and white delftware.