Given that the Ann Arbor Potters Guild will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2019, and is believed to be one of the oldest surviving cooperative workshops in the country, you might say that AAPG is composed of anything but “the common clay.”
Founded by nine local potters in the summer of 1949, AAPG rented a small, awkwardly laid out studio in an alley off William and Maynard Streets, near the University of Michigan campus. Within a year, they incorporated as a nonprofit. These artists sought to establish a place not only to practice their craft, but to learn from teachers as well. Two of the founding members built a kiln, and the first pottery wheels were constructed from material culled from a local junkyard. From these humble beginnings is an organization that currently boasts around 40 members, and is looking to connect with the next generation of artists.
In a video interview about the Guild’s history, a young artist from the Guild’s early years, Eppie Potts, recalled what working as a female artist in the 1950s was like: “When I started, it wasn’t possible (for women) to buy pants. You could buy riding jodhpurs, but women didn’t wear pants, and we needed pants for doing physical work. We had to go down to the farm store in downtown. You could get bib overalls. That was about it for clothing.” READ THE REST HERE