Potters holding mug month

This is the month to get mugged, if you're a pottery fan.

The Prince George Potters' Guild coordinates an annual sale on some of their most popular wares, each May. It's The Month of Mugs at the Studio 2880 Gift Shoppe, the headquarters for the region's premier group of claywrights. All the mugs by PGPG members are on sale.

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"Mugs is one of those things that just about every potter does, starting right at the beginning of learning how to use the wheel," said Kate Cooke, past-president of the PGPG. "You make mugs and bowls and mugs and bowls, so even when you've become experienced at it, mugs are still something you go to, it's something we're used to."

One cannot place their wares in the Studio 2880 Gift Shoppe without passing through a jury process to ensure high quality. That means the vessels on offer during the Month of Mugs are among the best of their kind in the city.

"We advertise the Month of Mugs within the guild, so our members know it's there, and some will do extra work to have extra. Some will stock up," Cooke said. She estimated the time to make a single mug, for the experienced potter, to be 45-60 minutes. For the beginner, she said, it can take a whole three-hour class just to learn how to shape a handle onto the cylinder. But once you get the hang of it, it is one of the most rewarding things to make, with no end to the creativity an artisan can put into it. Shapes and colours are without limit.

May is a particularly good time of year for a mug sale, Cooke explained, because of events like Mothers' Day and Fathers' Day, but people commonly buy them for teachers as well.

"Did you ever see a teacher in the hallways who didn't have a stack of papers and a mug?" Cooke said. "This is a great end-of-year present for your teacher which also supports local artisans and the same time you're also supporting the Community Arts Council. We need to support the CAC because they make art affordable and accessible in this community. Their work opens a lot of doors for local artisans like ourselves."

The discounted mugs are on shelves and in nooks throughout the Studio 2880 Gift Shoppe. It is open 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

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