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Hit the pottery trail

Asparagus Valley event features  18 potters at 9 stops this weekend

Recorder/Paul Franz
Tom White stands in his Northfield studio with a finished teapot and several works-in-progress. He’ll host several potters at his Northfield studio and gallery at 205 Winchester Road.

Recorder/Paul Franz Tom White stands in his Northfield studio with a finished teapot and several works-in-progress. He’ll host several potters at his Northfield studio and gallery at 205 Winchester Road.

The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail is back for its ninth year this weekend, and features nearly twice as many potters as before.

With nine stops in Shelburne Falls, Greenfield, Northfield, Northampton, Florence, Hadley and Pelham, the annual event has been a boon to potters along the Connecticut River and beyond.

Northfield potter Tom White is hoping that an array of artisans will make his end-of-the-trail shop a must-stop spot.

“It will be like a little craft fair,” said White. At his 205 Winchester Road studio and gallery, he’ll host guest potters Sam Taylor, of Westhampton’s Dog Bar Pottery, Angela Fina, of Amherst, and Hayne Bayless, of Sideways Studio in Ivoryton, Conn. The potters will give live demonstrations throughout the two-day event.

White will also feature Mark Ragonese, a furniture maker and natural materials sculptor from Bellows Falls, Vt., who works with everything from stones to sticks.

Entertainment will be provided Saturday by local strummer Phil Watson and the Fiddlin’ Chiselers, timber frame builders by day and musicians by night. Sunday, local musicians Annie Chappell and husband David Gordon will play for the crowd.

White will also offer some hands-on fun. Outside his studio, he’ll set up some potter’s wheels, and let folks give them a spin.

“I like telling people to sit, give it a try, and see how easy it’s not,” said White.

He will also have refreshments and kids’ activities at his shop.

“People who stop on the trail are very process-oriented. They like to see where and how we make things, and what our studios are like. Quite a few have made their own pots, and like to share their experiences.”

“Last year, it grossed about $48,000,” he said. “And since it’s a two-day event, people stay overnight, and eat at our local restaurants.”

There are a few other Franklin County stops on the trail; in Shelburne Falls, there’s Stephen Earp Redware at 15 Masonic Ave., Mary Barringer at 5 Cross St., and Molly Cantor at 20 Bridge St., and in Greenfield, Lucy Fagella’s Lucia Pottery at 86 Leyden Road.

The Asparagus Valley Pottery Trail will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. “Passports” are available at every stop; have it stamped at seven of the nine locations, and you’ll be entered into a free pottery raffle.

For a complete listing of Pottery Trail stops, a map, and more information, visit:

www.asparagusvalleypotterytrail.com.

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