By Alex Kruse

Thunder Bay’s Marina Park is home to a new, fully accessible pottery studio at the Baggage Building Arts Centre with the goal of inspiring, sharing, and promoting public awareness about pottery and clay art.

Visitors are wholeheartedly welcome at the quaint and friendly studio—there is even a glass wall so anyone can drop in during regular hours and watch the artists at work. The space features two brand new kick wheels provided by the city and another four electric wheels purchased with a grant the centre was awarded. Additional fundraising has allowed purchase of the necessary tools and equipment for a well-honed space.

The studio offers regular classes for both beginner and intermediate potters, as well as on a drop-in basis. These are instructed by well-known Thunder Bay master potter Fritz Lehmberg, who has extensive experience with wood firing and operates his own local studio. “[Fritz] brings a lot of flavour to the table, providing an authentic and enriched glimpse into the art form,” says Tanis Webster, pottery studio facilitator.

Other options include custom-tailored pottery birthday parties, open studio time for independent work, workshops, and team building opportunities. You’re also likely to see the team offering pottery demonstrations and free activities during city events such as Culture Days and Youth Week.

“Our goal for the space is to embrace the opportunity to form a natural partnership with the Baggage Building Arts Centre and foster working relationships with various artists and groups, so we can work together to facilitate and incorporate pottery and clay art into the regular art programming at the centre for all ages, skills and abilities,” adds Webster.

The Baggage Building Arts Centre is open Monday to Friday 10 am-5 pm, and weekends 11 am-4 pm for the remainder of summer. To sign up for classes or learn more call the Baggage Building Art Centre at 684-2063 or stop in during business hours.

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