Artist's work part of Potter's Bowl on Feb. 27

February 18, 2011|BY TIFFANY ARNOLD |
  • McIntyre believes in making pottery that is practical and can be used.
By Yvette May/Staff Photographer

What gets eaten at Potter's Bowl is just as important as the dish it is eaten from.

"I think that potters should have a more prevalent role, especially in today's throwaway society," said artist Michael McIntyre of Lietersburg. "Pottery is something you can buy and have for years."

Potter's Bowl is an interfaith project between Congregation B'Nai Abraham and Trinity Lutheran Church, who are working together to raise money for the Community Free Clinic by offering attendees soup and fellowship for $50 a ticket.

This year's Potter's Bowl has been set for Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Elks Club, east of Hagers-town.

But this is not your typical community meal. Organizers commission artists to create the soup bowls, which attendees get to keep.

This will be McIntyre's fifth time creating pieces for Potter's Bowl. McIntyre, 44, said he met his mentor, Sharpsburg potter Del Martin, while attending a prior Potter's Bowl.

He gave up a career as a film editor to create pottery and to be a stay-at-home dad. Lately, he's has been transferring his energy into being a home-based entrepreneur. He sells his work online through and from his gallery on the family alpaca farm.

McIntyre walked The Herald-Mail through the process of creating kitchenware from clay during a recent visit to his studio, FireRobin Farm Pottery.

A typical day in the studio begins at around 7:30 or 8 a.m. He starts by making forms, throwing clay onto the wheel, transforming lumps of clay into bowls, cups, plates and platters. Once dried, the pieces are typically hand-dipped in a glaze or left nude. Rarely does he use more than one color of glaze, and if he does, the color comes in spare spurts.

"Less is more," McIntyre said.

In total, a single bowl takes about a day, he said, but there's a lot happening concurrently on any given day. Shelves of dried unglazed pieces, including medallions from his latest jewelry project were waiting to be fired. There were also tubs of fresh clay waiting to be thrown.

 Accumulated work will eventually get fired in electric kilns.

"I enjoy it when people buy it to use every day," McIntyre said. "This stuff is meant to be used in the kitchen."

If you go  ...

WHAT: 19th annual Potter's Bowl, meal and fundraiser for the Community Free Clinic
WHEN: 5:30 to 9:30 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 27.
WHERE: Elks Club, 11063 Robinwood Drive, east of Hagerstown.
COST: $50.
MORE: Call 301-797-1585 or 301-733-5039.

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