Mount Pleasant Potters’ Guild is a non-profit society formed in August 2012 by users of the Ceramics Studio at the North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre in Calgary, Alberta. We work to build a community where ceramic artists, hobbyists and students of all levels come together to learn more about ceramics, improve technical skills and enhance our lives through creative expression. This supportive environment helps provide inspiration and motivation.
Central to the Guild mandate is our educational programming consisting of evening presentations and weekend workshops where internationally recognized ceramic artists and local potters share their knowledge and expertise with members and the general public. Our fundraising markets help finance our workshops.
The relationship with the City of Calgary North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre began in 1984. The city provided the infrastructure and a group of potters raised funds to help build or purchase specialized equipment to facilitate the artistic growth of its members.
In 1989, the users of the ceramics studio at the Arts Centre formed a Not-For-Profit society called the Mount Pleasant Art Society. They were instrumental in gaining major funding to help build a new clay wing at the Centre thus expanding teaching opportunities and providing a bigger and better studio space for ceramics. With the major rebuild completed the Mount Pleasant Art Society was dissolved in 1997.
In August 2012 the potters at the Arts Centre again formed a Not-For-Profit society called the Mount Pleasant Potters’ Guild. From 2012-2015, the guild, with the support of grants from Alberta Culture, raised the funds to upgrade equipment at the Arts Centre by replacing the wood and salt kilns and the Members Studio pottery wheels, stools and bats.
We hold two Pottery Sales each year, usually in May and November. Each is a unique salon style event where established and beginning potters show their work side by side. The commission raised from the markets supports our workshops and lectures, helps us donate equipment to the City of Calgary North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre Ceramics Studio and has funded scholarships for children to attend summer arts camp at the Arts Centre.
To participate in the Pottery Market one must be a member in good standing of the MPPG.
Proceeds from our fundraising markets help us to offer evening seminars and annual weekend workshops which expose ceramics enthusiasts to international, national and local ceramic artists. The events are open to everyone. The inspiration and motivation we get from the generous sharing of techniques and knowledge by these guest artists is visible in the increased enthusiasm, skills and participation in clay.
Exposure to the calibre of artists we are able to bring in is out of reach for most potters due to the usual high registration and travel costs for most workshops.
Equipment support for North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre
Thanks to our fundraising efforts and the generous support of Alberta Culture Community Initiatives Program Funds Matching Project Grants, we were able to donate equipment to the City Of Calgary North Mount Pleasant Arts Centre.
Starting in 2013, using member contributions and the support of an Alberta Culture CIP Funds Matching Project Grant, we donated money and labour to replace the wood and salt kilns at the Arts Centre. In the summer of 2013, Aaron Nelson was engaged to lead a group of people in a Kiln Building workshop during which the wood kiln was rebuilt. See this video to learn how it was done. Using the knowledge gained at that workshop, the salt kiln was rebuilt during the summer of 2014.
In 2016 with support of a second Alberta Culture CIP Funds Matching Project Grant, we donated six new Shimpo Whisper Wheels, adjustable potter’s stools and bats as equipment upgrades for the Arts Centre Ceramics Studio. The six old wheels were used to help furnish a new clay room allowing additional Arts Centre pottery classes.