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Meet The Artists: Ceramic

Durable and dynamic pottery

Durable and beautiful, pottery is one of the oldest traditions in human culture, dating back to the stone age. Just like how the pottery that archaeologists excavate reflects the cultures of thousands of years ago, the unique and beautiful pottery on display at the Design Quest holiday market reflects the unique and wonderful minds which created them. Meet this year's ceramic artists: two new and one returning.

Caroline Bouwense of Clay Tooth works out of the basement of her home in the Creston neighborhood of Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is drawn to the medium of clay - as many others are - by the intimacy of the material. The tactile, messy immediacy of it proves both grounding and inspiring. Her aim is to create pieces that charm and entice, and she enjoys pursuing new concepts and forms as much as making functional items for everyday use. She also loves to teach others and share in their joy of discovery, confidence and creativity. After spending about three years managing a local community clay studio and teaching classes there she set out to pursue her own practice full time at the start of 2023. She has brought ceramic earring/jewelry holders, bowls, cups, and vases.

Bonnie Knapp of Allegan, MI watched a potter throw a pot on his wheel as a child and knew immediately it was what she wanted to do. Today, she loves the challenge of stretching her boundaries working with clay, creating something new and testing alternative firing methods. When she makes a piece of pottery, she looks at it, feels it, uses it, then imagines how she can make it function better. as a work of art. For the Design Quest Holiday Artisan Market she has brought horse hair pottery and jewelry, as well as her "snow people." Her jewelry is made from silver clay or horse hair pottery, which both have a unique way of being made.

Kate Lewis has been making beautiful functional pottery for 20 years. She graduated from Michigan State University's Honors College with a Bachelor's in English and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in studio art, specializing in ceramics and sculpture. She spent the first twelve years of her career teaching community education classes and maintaining public studio spaces. Presently, Kate works out of her home studio on the northeast side of Grand Rapids, MI creating microwave and dishwasher safe custom pottery orders for private collectors and business clients. She also sells her handcrafted pottery at the Fulton Street Farmers Market and other community events.

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