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Boulder Potters' Guild

The Guild offers ceramics classes and holds workshops with nationally known ceramic artists. We donate materials and use of our facilities to support outreach to the community. Funds donated to the Guild will be used to support the Guild's facilities, educational programs, and outreach.

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General Information

General
Official Name
Boulder Potters' Guild​​​​​​​
DBA/Trade Name(s)
N/A
Former Name(s)
N/A
Acronym
BPG
Date Established
1969
Offers Additional Colorado State Tax Credit
None
Tax ID
84-0593203
Addresses
Headquarters Address
N/A
Colorado Location
3185 Sterling Circle
Boulder, CO 80301
Mailing Address
P.O. Box 19676
Boulder , CO 80308
Other Address
N/A
Phone/Fax
Main Phone Number
N/A
Fax Number
N/A
Other Phone Number
303-447-0310
Web/Email
Email
contact@boulderpottersguild.org
Website
www.boulderpottersguild.org
Social Media Links
     

Mission Statement

The mission of the Boulder Potters' Guild is to provide facilities, educational opportunities, and a supportive environment for its members and members of the larger Boulder County community to work with clay in many ways and to share the creativity and satisfaction of this ancient and continuing aspect of human culture.

Organization History

Eleven of Betty Woodman's students at the City of Boulder Pottery Lab founded the Guild in 1969. Since then, the Guild has occupied four locations in Boulder County, including our current home on Sterling Circle. By the third move, members began to save money for a permanent home. With the assistance of grants from several foundations, and mortgage financing, we were able to build and equip our current 6000 square foot facility, which we occupied in Fall 2001. The facility is well-designed both for members' individual use and for classes and workshops open to the public. This building has proved to be enormously valuable to both the Guild and the community. In this space we have doubled our membership and enlarged our class and workshop offerings.

We have always been an all-volunteer organization. Until now, all organizational, administrative, planning and maintenance duties have been performed successfully by volunteer members, except on the rare occasions when we employ contract workers to perform tasks that we can't do ourselves, for example snow removal, roofing or electrical work. This current year, for the first time, we have hired a bookkeeper to help us keep track of our income and expenses both for transparency, and because the task had become too time-consuming for any one volunteer.

We currently have seventy-three members, and seven apprentices, whose commitment to ceramics ranges from semiprofessional to fully professional potters and sculptors. We hold semiannual sales that draw attendance from Boulder County and beyond. Members support our budget with dues, with donations of a portion of the proceeds from our semiannual sales, and with their time commitments. Apprentices are able to use our facilities in return for required maintenance duties. We always maintain a wait list for prospective members.

Testimonials

Having the guild in my life has allowed me to continue to make pottery and sculpture. Without the encouragement of the members and teachers I may have chosen to be a hobby potter. But, looking back, the guild has helped me to grow as an artist and craftsperson. I am very grateful.

I participated in every event the Guild offered: classes, workshops, glaze development and kiln building opportunities. I absorbed it all like a sponge. I was completely in love.

Through the Boulder Potters' Guild, I was able to bring the art and story-telling of Florence and Louis Naranjo, San Ildefonso Potters from New Mexico to many school children on three different occasions. If not for the Boulder Potters' Guild, these cherished friends would not have had the opportunity to enrich so many children and adults they came in contact with. Since my retirement from classroom teaching, I continue to be involved in bringing clay into the classroom at my former school. At the Guild, I have had the opportunity to teach adult and children's classes. Through the Guild, I have done volunteer work with special needs students in summer programs.

The Guild has a policy that every new probationary member or apprentice needs to have a buddy. I have been a buddy to many and they have been that to me. Throughout all these years of perfecting my craft as a potter, I have been learning many things from other members. My glaze mentors, firing buddies, and amazing "salt" artists continue to amaze me with their dedication and tireless energy. To me this is what the Guild represents: a community of professionals working together to create and to educate.

One summer, at an art fair, the Boulder Potter's Guild was offering throwing demonstrations. I picked up a class schedule and was soon an active student of the Guild. I was drawn to the Boulder Potters' Guild by the variety of classes and workshops offered and by the opportunity to immerse myself within a creative community. I was most influenced by a Sculpture Class taught by Caroline Douglas. She opened my eyes to new ways of creative visioning, building techniques, and glazing. The class was a delight, and the friendship formed with Caroline, as a result, has been life-changing.

The Boulder Potters Guild offered me the companionship of other potters and a workable facility where I could fire my work. I joined years ago when the Guild was located on North Broadway in a funky cinder block building, nothing like the fantastic building that the Guild enjoys today. And, wouldn't it be just like a bunch of potters to encourage a colorful blooming flower garden out front in an otherwise barren landscape?

The Guild has lasted 40 years! because of the spirit of cooperation and mutual appreciation of its members, and I expect it to keep on indefinitely as long as it continues to attract good people and new ideas. The quality of the current work of the Guild's members is astonishing to those of us who were practically beginners when we started the Guild. I look forward to seeing the beautiful work in the next sale.

The Guild is one of the best functioning and fiscally sound organizations I have ever had the privilege to be associated with. It is truly an honor to be a member.

I have always loved being a part of the guild and experiencing how we learn from each other, teach each other and work together to meet our goals. Observing the clay work of our diverse membership gives each individual member the opportunity to challenge ourselves in our own clay work. Plus we have fun working together.

Being a part of the Guild has allowed me to explore many forming and firing techniques, helping me to develop my own style. During the years that I have been a part of the Guild, I have grown from a pottery student to a professional potter, making my living doing what I love. It is a joy to be part of a vibrant community of like-minded yet diverse artists and I have made lasting friendships that started with, yet go far beyond our shared love of clay.

I have found the Guild to be a place with a long history of collective planning and financial responsibility. Otherwise it could not be what it is today: a thriving studio with many members and apprentices. It is because of this sustainability and commitment to craft that many are on wait lists to join. It has been the founding members, the fund raisers, the grant writers, the lot purchasers, the studio designers, the treasurers, the postcard designers, the Board members, the workshop chairpersons, the teachers, who have contributed to the wonderful studio space that we call the Boulder Potters' Guild. And then there is the art, which speaks for itself.

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