By Lennie Bennett • Times Art Critic
There are two general types of collectors: those who purchase works that appeal to them across media, time periods and artists, and those who like to focus on one of those areas.
Tour de Clay, the annual ceramics studio tour that stretches from north Pinellas County and into Hillsborough and Pasco counties, is designed for both types, though it has special appeal for those deep into clay. Five studios will feature 23 ceramicists on Saturday and Sunday who will be on hand to talk about their craft. Saturday is kiln-opening day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday is demonstration day, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when potters will be working in the studios.
Each studio has a timed kiln opening on Saturday so you can bounce from one to the next and see the different types of ovens the potters use for different results. Then you can talk about glazes and wheel-thrown versus hand-building. Then you're all set for interesting small talk at the next holiday party you attend, especially if the party is at your place and you can use your new ceramics pieces as show and tell.
The schedule for kiln openings on Saturday:
• 9 a.m., Pottery Boys Clay Studio, 30 Bogie Lane, Palm Harbor
• 10:30 a.m., Clay and Paper Studio, 110 Peterson Lane, Palm Harbor
• 2 p.m., Hidden Lake Pottery, 16705 Hutchison Road, Odessa
• 3 p.m., Wellman and Welsch Pottery, 17202 Whirley Road, Lutz
• 5 p.m., San Antonio Pottery, 11903 Curley St., San Antonio
San Antonio Pottery will stay open late on Saturday with a performance by Rebekah Pulley from 7 to 9 p.m.
Some of the studios are participating in fundraisers for area not-for-profit organizations. WMNF, a local community radio station, will be the recipient of proceeds from $5 opportunity tickets for a chance to win a one-of-a-kind ceramic platter from San Antonio Pottery. At Clay and Paper, Safety Harbor Art and Music Center will also benefit from a Spin the Wheel game. The Pottery Boys Studio is supporting the Clearwater Free Clinic with another drawing for several ceramic works.