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"Just a Bunch of Potters" gather for annual showcase

By Michael Summers


Fort Wayne Reader


The name says it all — Just A Bunch of Potters. After all, what else are you going to call yourselves when you’re essentially a dozen or so artists who work in the medium of clay, get together every few weeks to hang out and talk pottery, and once a year put on a holiday show to display your work?

It made sense to the group of area artists who got together six years ago to promote their work. “At the time, there just wasn’t a medium for potters in the area,” says Mary Liberman-Brandt, one of Just A Bunch of Potters’ founding members. “This was before Charlie Cummings had opened up anything, and there wasn’t a place for potters to display and sell their pottery.”

Just A Bunch of Potters decided to do it themselves in 2000 with their first holiday show. The 2005 edition of the annual event takes place on November 11 – 13, with an opening reception on the 11th The artists also supply the appetizers, wine and beer for the opening reception on the 11th from 6 – 9 at the North Pointe Woods Clubhouse.

Ranging in age from mid-20s through 60s, Just A Bunch of Potters all met through IPFW’s art program, but stylistically their work is about as diverse as you can get. “Our chosen medium is clay, but artistically, we’re a pretty diverse group,” says Kristy Jo Beber, who also teaches a “Ceramics for Non-majors” course at IPFW and does about ten shows per year. “Some of us work in wheel-throw pottery and hand-built pieces, or natural surfaces, or brightly colored pieces… there’s really something for every taste.”

Liberman-Brandt adds: “For as many people as we have, no one really overlaps. For the most part, we’re all functional potters; you can use the pieces, they’re not just for display. Kristy Jo is probably the very first in our group to have a few more sculptural pieces.”

Liberman-Brandt estimates that each artist has about 60 pieces on display for the annual holiday show. Other artists in the Just Bunch of Potters showcase include Kim Rorick from Ossian, the only member of A Bunch of Potters who works in porcelain, hand-painted in bright vivid colors. Like many of the artists in the group, she has shown her work in quite a few shows (about 25 – 30 shows a year, in Rorick’s case), but enjoys the camaraderie and the sense of common purpose she gets from A Bunch of Potters. “We’re basically a bunch of friends who went to school together, and we all care about pottery, about the art form, and we care how it’s presented and what people think about it.”

Just A Bunch of Potters 6th Annual Holiday Show
November 11-13 (opening reception Friday 6 – 9. Appetizers, wine, and beer served. Additional shopping hours are Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5)
North Pointe Woods Clubhouse. Off North Clinton near Auburn Road.

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