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pottery guilds/standards

updated wed 14 dec 05


judith labovitz on tue 13 dec 05

The Greater Lansing Potters'Guild ( is almost 37 years old....our standards are now pretty high! We offer 8 10- week terms of classes, where up to 24 students enroll; all of our instructors have an MFA in ceramics.

We offer a "visiting potter" program for selected advanced students; high standards of potting skills are required before the person applies. It is a one year renewable term; the second year is non-renewable.

Due to space issues, among other things, we limit the number of VP's and members.

Membership to the Guild is by invitation requiring a 2/3 vote of members following recommendation by a membership committee.

Each member is required to put a minimum of 50 pots in each of our 2 sales; almost all do a lot more! We have an honor system, which works pretty well. No 'seconds' are to be at our chips, excessive drips, s-cracks, that sort of thing.

We gross about $150,000 (I think) annually; the Guild retains 20% commission and the potters get the rest. Our system for payment is simple (discussed here before)...each pot has a tag on it with the potters' name, inventory number and cost of the pot. Following the sale, a team of folks sort and count the tags; if a tag is missing, no money exchanges hands. Somewhat archaic, in the techno-age...but it seems to work for us.

We own our studio, land etc...we have 13 wheels, 6 kilns etc.

We provide a variety of workshops to our members at a (very) reduced rate...if space permits we offer others the opportunity to attend the workshops also.

We have very few all-member meetings; we have gobs of committees which meet a lot.

My personal concern, NOT shared by a lot of our members, is that of the 36 members, there are very few under 50...most of us are 60-84 years old...and I worry where we'll be in 10 years. This is not to suggest elders can't contribute, be great potters etc.... but the chances of a lot of us being as healthy in 10 years as we are now may not be that great!

This is not pleasant to think about....and it it also off the topic!

please emailoff list if I can answer any questions relative to our Guild

Judy in mid-Michigan

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