The Public Subsidized Pottery Sale

The Public Subsidized Pottery Sale was made possible by my receipt of the NCECA Regina Brown Undergraduate Student Fellowship. The fellowship grant paid for my rent and materials so that I could sell the pottery made during the time of the grant's support in the Public Subsidized Pottery Sale. The sale was open only to residents within a one-mile radius of the Detroit Noborigama wood kiln and all of the pots were sold for one dollar each with the rule of one pot per person. The project utilized the processes of wood firing and the functional objects produced from them in an effort to bridge cultural and socioeconomic barriers in Detroit's North End neighborhood. I reasoned that most of North End’s residents were unlikely to be in a position to purchase such objects at a full price or to have experienced the processes of wood firing pottery, but likely had a single dollar, used cups and bowls, and enjoyed fire.

By stamping the pots “Made in North End”, gathering the wood necessary to fire the kiln from the neighborhood, and holding the kiln firings as public events, I worked to make the process and objects relevant to the immediate community. The sale was advertised by crude hand painted signs (a tradition in Detroit) and hung on the gate around the lot where it would occur and I distributed fliers distributed by foot throughout the neighborhood.

All of this seemed quite effective and worthwhile as the last pushpin on the map of pottery recipients marked the sale done.