Aldrich said she was drawn to pottery because of the intimate connection the medium offers between the creator and the consumer.
“I think that for the potter, creating something that people use every day, that they touch, that they feel, creates a connection between the potter who made it and the person who purchases it,” Aldrich said. “I think all potters enjoy that direct connection to their customers and people who would use it.”
Potter and event organizer Jo Lovvorn said that, more than anything else, the event is a celebration of Durham County’s pottery community.
“It is really an event to celebrate pottery and who the potters are in the local community and to educate the public about all the different pottery things that go on in Durham,” Lovvorn said.
That educational element of the tour will include being able to talk to professional potters. Event organizer Liz Paley said the event allows attendees interested in making their own pots to see what it takes to be a professional potter.
“There are folks who are interested in moving from taking classes into producing their own work in their own spaces,” Paley said. “How do you learn how to do that? You learn by seeing how other people do it. This is an opportunity for people to see that. It’s an opportunity for us to talk about our work, how we work, what our process is and not just have a finished product.”
Lovvorn said the educational element also allows participating potters to discuss their appreciation for the medium’s history.
“Pottery has been around for hundreds of years, so for me, it’s very satisfying to participate in something that has been part of our culture for hundreds of years and to see how it grows and changes with the times,” Lovvorn said. “I think the educational element is just making that more accessible to the public.”
Paley said the event provides potters with an opportunity to celebrate North Carolina’s rich pottery tradition.
“Pottery has a long history in North Carolina, from indigenous peoples who were here making pots out of the clay in the ground to the European settlement community,” Paley said. “We’re basically celebrating the ceramics tradition that relates to the entire state, but we’re celebrating it in Durham County.”