North Star Pottery celebrates 40 years in operation

North Star Pottery is celebrating their 40th anniversary this year and as part of their celebration they hosted their annual Show and Sale on May 7-8.

The event was very well attended with approximately 300-400 people going through the studio, which featured work by potter, Mel Bolden, and painter, Karen Holden.

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Bolen was really impressed with the number of people who came out to support their Show and Sale, saying he spoke to people from Wynyard, Raymore, Dalmeny, Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Yorkton, and he expected more including some from Prince Albert.

Seeing all that support is phenomenal, says Bolen.

In conjunction with the Show and Sale, the SPCA also hosted a barbeque on site at North Star Pottery to provide food and refreshments to visitors.

SPCA Manager, Wanda Price, says they were asked by Bolen and Holden to host the barbeque and says they were really happy to be asked to come and host their own fundraiser during the two day Show and Sale.

“We’re very appreciative of it. Anybody who supports us and especially when they ask us to do the barbeque it helps us make some money.”

Bolen says that they always really enjoy helping the SPCA whenever they can.

“We really support that organization and we’ve always been really fond of animals…animals are a great part of our lives.”

During the course of the Show and Sale, North Star Pottery also raffled off pieces of artwork, with the proceeds going to the SPCA as well.

North Star has been hosting the Show and Sale on Mother’s Day weekend for many years, with Bolen saying it is a perfect time because the weather is usually starting to be very nice on that weekend.

North Star opened in 1976 at the location they are currently in, says Bolen who noted that there have been many changes along the way. When they first opened there were four potters who lived on the property, without running water or sewer, says Bolen.

“We did it the old fashioned way.”

After a few years they were able to put in a cistern and slowly started growing the shelter house, the trees, manicuring the yard, growing big gardens and working for the neighbours in exchange for beef and chickens.

“It was hand to mouth at those times until you started getting markets together getting connected to shops going to craft sales.”

Bolen says they used to go to eight craft shows a year but have been able to slowly cut it back to one or two a year.

They now do lots of commission work and even sell some of their work in art galleries, with Holden also hosting art workshops.

Bolen says he is really proud of the fact that they have always made their sole living as artists for 40 years despite not holding other jobs on the side.

“This was our dream and it’s coming true.”

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