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Sunshine Coast's Pottery Prowl is returning for its third year

Postgame potluck prompts summer Prowl
Ceramic artists Elaine Futterman and Mike Allegretti host Pottery Prowl visitors at Creek Clayworks in Roberts Creek.

Organizers of the annual Pottery Prowl have announced that the popular self-guided tour of Sunshine Coast ceramics studios will return for a third year.  

The event was founded by a group of local artists in 2022. This summer, on July 6 and 7, the number of registered exhibitors will grow by almost 10 per cent following last summer’s positive results. 

“We only attract people who really love pottery and that’s a real bonus,” said Elaine Futterman, who operates Creek Clayworks with Mike Allegretti. Futterman hosted a post-Prowl analysis with former participants (appropriately, over a potluck meal) and conducted an informal tally of studio visits and art sales. Exhibitors counted hundreds of public visits during the two-day event. 

“It’s not like the Art Crawl where you have people walking around in town who really want to see stained glass or paintings or whatever and they’re not going to be true fans of pottery,” added Futterman. “I really think that this is an effective event because it attracts people who love pottery.” 

A trio of new studios have been added to the Pottery Prowl. At Hawthorn Ceramics in Roberts Creek, Beth Hawthorn creates small, unique batches of practical ceramics such as bowls, teacups and vases. She uses a potter’s wheel to fashion earthenware items and mixes her own food-safe glazes. 

Clare Wilkening’s Cup & Ocean Ceramics is another Roberts Creek studio that will exhibit for the first time during next month’s Prowl. Wilkening creates tableware and sculptures inspired by natural surroundings. “I choose to work primarily in ceramics because of the material’s direct connection to the ground, which has inherent power and meaning,” Wilkening wrote in an artist’s statement. 

The Elle Bee Art Studio run by Laura Barron in Sechelt is the third newcomer for 2024. Barron, a self-taught artist, paints images onto her kiln-fired pottery that is hand-built or wheel-thrown. “Having a studio on the Sunshine Coast means I am constantly inspired by the ocean and nature surrounding me,” she wrote. 

Futterman has capitalized on her connections with the BC Potters Guild and the Craft Council of British Columbia to publicize the Prowl. The Coast Cultural Alliance, which sponsors the annual Art Crawl and year-round Purple Banner Tour, has also helped promote the tour. 

Some locales, like the Forst Pottery Studio, will exhibit works by associated artists. Members of Pat Forst’s pottery club regularly showcase and sell their work from her Gibsons-based studio. 

The complement of studios stretches the full length of Highway 101, from the Klaywerk Studio in Langdale (run by Liz de Beer, longtime manager of the Parkgate Pottery studio in North Vancouver) to the tranquil hilltop of the Geopia Gallery and Garden near Earls Cove.  

Some artists, like Ray, Bev and Tim Niebergall of Roberts Creek,  maintain year-round exhibition space (the Niebergalls also run popular classes at their Mustard Seed Clay Creations & Spirited Ceramics), while others set up an ad hoc showcase (such as Marilyn Downey’s vibrant outdoor gallery in Halfmoon Bay). 

“We’ve increased our number of sponsors so we’ve been able to increase our printing of brochures,” added Futterman. “Brochures and posters are being distributed everywhere.” 

Pottery lovers can browse to for studio listings and directions.