Tour De Clay 2012, Saturday, December 8, 9 am-5pm and Sunday, Dec 9, 11am-4pm Florida West Coast Ceramics Society

Kiln Opening Schedules for Saturday:

The first kiln opening will happen at 9:00 a.m.
at the Pottery Boys Studio location (30 Bogie Lane, Palm Harbor, FL).

The second kiln opening will happen at 10:30 a.m.
at the Paper and Clay studio location (110 Peterson Lane, Palm Harbor, FL)

The third kiln opening will happen at 2:00 p.m.
at the Hidden Lake Pottery location (16705 Hutchinson Road, Odessa, FL)

The fourth kiln opening will happen at 3:00 p.m.
at the Wellman and Welsch Pottery location (17202 Whirley Road, Lutz, FL)

Last, but certainly not least, the final kiln opening will happen at 5:00 p.m.
at the San Antonio Pottery studio location (11903 Curley Road, San Antonio, FL).

And if that was not enough excitement, pottery demonstrations are planned to take place
at each studio throughout Saturday and Sunday.

Tour de Clay of Tampa Bay
Streamlining the Tour

Now in our 5th year of bringing this pottery studio tour to the Tampa Bay area, we always try to add something to make the studio tour better. This year we are streamlining the tour so it will be easier to take in all of the studios on the tour. Last year we had 6 studios, this year we will have 5 but we still have over 20 potters represented throughout the tour.
Each studio will offer a raffle style opportunity to win pottery with the proceeds of the raffle going directly to a variety of local charities. Another new twist this year is a partnership with WMNF – a local, listener supported radio station which also supports charities throughout the entire year.

The 5th annual “Tour de Clay” is brought to you by the Florida Westcoast Ceramic Society. Slated for the second weekend in December (Dec. 8th & 9th), 5 local pottery studios will be open to the public and offer a wide range of functional and decorative pottery hand crafted by over 20 different potters. Saturday will feature kiln openings perfectly timed so you can travel to all 5 studios and watch as the potters reveal the treasures taken out of the kilns still cooling from their most recent firing. All day Saturday and Sunday, you can travel from studio to studio and watch pottery demonstrations and talk to each of the potters about their own pottery making and firing techniques. You will also have the opportunity to make a donation to local charities which double as a chance to win one of many beautiful pieces of pottery.

Studio Tour hours will be: Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 11am to 4pm.
The kiln opening times for Saturday are
9am - #1 Pottery Boys Studio in Palm Harbor
10:30am - #2 Clay and Paper Studio in Palm Harbor
2:00pm - #3 Hidden Lake Pottery in Odessa
3:00pm - #4 Wellman and Welsch Pottery in Lutz
5:00pm - #5 San Antonio Pottery in San Antonio

The charities benefiting from this years tour are: Clearwater Free Clinic; SHAMc - Safety Harbor Art & Music Center’s building fund; Animal Coalition of Tampa; Citrus Park Big Cat Rescue; and WMNF 88.5 fm - a listener sponsored radio station. It is our hope that people will learn more about these organizations throughout the tour in a way that is fun and mutually beneficial.

Many locals remember the annual Tour De Clay is always the second weekend in December. They know that there are 6 working pottery studios on the tour. Each studio offers: a variety of guest potters’ work; pottery demonstrations; kiln openings; a wide range of pottery styles; and the opportunity to meet all the potters, talk to them about their work, and purchase pottery directly from the artist. However, most do not know about the birth of this event.

Tour de Clay was the dream child of Peter Streit, a Tampa Bay area potter. In 2007, Peter Streit of Tampa Florida had a dream of creating a group of studio potters representing a broad range of styles and techniques – all making a living with clay in their own way. He quickly pulled 13 Florida potters together who would make up this core group. The group would call themselves “Florida West Coast Ceramic Society”. In this group you would find the youngest at 8 years old and the rest - adults ranging from educators, gallery and studio potters to out on the street production potters and everything in-between, each bringing their own unique perspective.

At the first meeting Peter talked briefly about other potters’ groups across the country who had created similar opportunities for their local potters. However, he wanted our group to be different – reaching out beyond our own personal and financial gain by creating and offering opportunities to emerging and established clay artists in the Tampa Bay area. He presented a 5, 10, and 15 year action plan with dreams and growth goals, all very focused and visionary.

His first goal, outside of establishing the group, was to conduct a studio tour where all 13 potters would sell their work at four of the home studios. The core group met and decided to name the tour “Tour de Clay” and we would start out small and grow from there. The first 2 years (2008 and 2009) featured 4 host studios and spread the potters out among the studios to create interest and balance throughout the tour. The third year, we increased the number of studios on the tour to 6 and added 1 guest artist per studio for a total of 18 potters along the tour. The fourth year we added even more guest artists and began raising money for local charities through a raffle style drawing.
Now in our fifth year, we have reduced the number of studios to help streamline the tour so all who wish do so may travel the entire studio tour more easily. We have even more potters, Saturday kiln openings as well as demonstrations both days.

Once again this year, each studio will select one or more charitable organizations to raise money for during the two day studio tour. A substantial piece of pottery will be donated for each charity, attendees can purchase raffle-style tickets at $5 each for their chance to win the piece or pieces of their choice. Every dollar collected from the ticket sales during the tour will go directly to the respective charities. Saturday has been designated as WMNF Day at each of the studios and a representative of this listener supported radio station will be present to talk about their programming and how they support the local community.

The list of core artists are: Ira Burhans; Glenn Woods and Keith Herbrand; Peter Streit; Joshua Streit; Kim Wellman and Harry Welsch; Kim Kirchman; Mark Fehl; LC McGee; Chuck McGee; Kimberli Cummings; McKenzie Smith; and Jack Boyle.
This year’s guest potters are: Cory McCrory; Andy Smith; William Kidd; Vadim Malkin; Alan Bennett; Scott Aubrey; John Kellum; Jonathan Barnes; Michele Ginouves; and Susan Livingston.

Tour De Clay is always the second weekend in December. Saturday, Dec. 8th from 9am to 5pm and Sunday, Dec. 9th from 11am to 4pm. The tour includes: 2 stops in Palm Harbor; 1 stop in Lutz; 1 stop in Odessa; and finally 1 stop in San Antonio, FL.

As one travels from studio to studio, they will be delighted with kiln openings on Saturday, timed so attendees can watch each one. Pottery demonstrations and raku firings will be happening on both days. You will also encounter live music and lots of refreshments and snacks along the way as well as the Saturday evening open house party at Jack Boyle’s studio and gallery in San Antonio, Florida.

Featured Pottery Studios Include:
Pottery Boys Clay Studios located at: 30 Bogie Lane / Palm Harbor, FL 34683
Owners Glenn Woods and Keith Herbrand will be joined by award winning guest artists: Cory McCrory; Andy Smith; and William Kidd. Kiln opening scheduled for Saturday at 9:00 a.m. with pottery demonstrations throughout Saturday and Sunday. Call for more information 727-736-4870.

Clay and Paper Studio located at: 110 Peterson Ave. / Palm Harbor, FL 34683
Owner Ira Burhans will be joined by guest artists Alan Bennett and Vadim Malkin. Kiln opening scheduled for Saturday at 10:30 a.m. with pottery demonstrations throughout Saturday and Sunday. Call for more information 727-772-9570.

Wellman and Welsch Pottery located at: 17202 Whirley Road, Lutz, FL
Owners Harry Welsch and Kim Welman will be joined by guest artists: Peter and Joshua Streit; Scott Aubrey; and John Kellum. Kiln opening scheduled for Saturday at 3:00 p.m. and pottery demonstrations throughout Saturday and Sunday. Call for more information 813-961-7106.

Hidden Lake Pottery located at: 16705 Hutchinson Road, Odessa, FL
Owners Kim Kirchman and Mark Fehl will be joined by guest artists: Chuck McGee, LC McGee, Kimberli Cummings; and Jonathan Barnes. Kiln opening scheduled for Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and pottery demonstrations throughout Saturday and Sunday. Call for more information 813-920-4341.

San Antonio Pottery located at:11903 Curley Road / San Antonio, FL
Owner Jack Boyle will be joined by guest artists: McKenzie Smith; Michele Ginouves; and Susan Livingston. Kiln opening scheduled for Saturday at 5:00 p.m. followed by live music and refreshments. Pottery demonstrations on Saturday and Sunday. Call for more information 352-588-4228.

For more information, check out the Tour De Clay website which will be updated on a regular basis.

Photos available upon request