Salad Days: Still Green After 25 Years

Former Watershed Director Lynn Thompson (center) shares a laugh with husband Mike Thompson (left), and Watershed Co-Founder Lynn Duryea (right) during an evening with Salad Days Artist alumni.

 

Never underestimate the creative potential of a job interview. In 1995, Watershed Co-Founder Chris Gustin interviewed Lynn Thompson (then located in Tennessee) for the organization’s executive director position. Understanding that fundraising would be an important part of the job, Thompson considered ideas that might impress Gustin. “I had it in my mind that gardening and farming were important in Maine, so it seemed logical to combine food and ceramics,” recalls Thompson. And, as a former English teacher, it was only natural to draw on words from Shakespeare for inspiration.  “My salad days, when I was green in judgment” — from Antony and Cleopatra — evokes thoughts of fresh, new endeavors and seemed a well-suited title for an event that celebrates garden bounties and ceramic plates inspired by Watershed’s pastoral surroundings.

When Thompson got the job and relocated to Maine, she decided to launch the first Salad Days picnic in August when Watershed’s board would be meeting on campus. She asked a young artist in the first residency session of the season, Yoshiro Okuma (“Yaz”), to stay through the summer and make 100 plates. Guests would choose a plate and enjoy a picnic lunch for $10 per person. Board members, staff, and resident artists were also asked to contribute to a pottery sale. The goal was to raise $1,000; but this first Salad Days raised $5,000!

Guests select plates by Dehmie Dehmlow during 2019 Salad Days.

 

Over the years, the event slowly grew in size. In its fifth year, Delta Airlines’ flight magazine ran a story about the event and Watershed was overrun with picnickers. Five hundred people showed up to claim 400 plates and this new participant level set the bar for years to come.

Today, Salad Days has become the organization’s most successful community fundraiser. Watershed annually welcomes more than 600 people to the event. Each Salad Days artist-in-residence is selected by a jury to make 550+ plates for the celebration.

During Salad Days 2019, reimagined plates made by past Salad Days Artists were on display beside their original Salad Days plates.

 

To mark the 25th annual Salad Days on July 13, 2019, Watershed invited the Salad Days Artist alumni to return to campus. Each artist was asked to make five limited edition “reimagined” plates in honor of this milestone. Eighteen of the artists accepted the reimagined plate challenge. The new plates were featured alongside the original plates in a special exhibition and sale during the 25th Salad Days event. Additionally, twelve past Salad Days Artist alums returned to Watershed for the weekend. They enjoyed a reunion with Lynn Thompson, sharing stories and reflections about the impact of the Salad Days residency on their work and careers.

Salad Days Artist alumni celebrated a Watershed homecoming this July. Top row: Adam Paulek, Kari Woolsey, Jessica Brandl, Liz Hafey, Meredith Host, Kurt Anderson, Christina Bendo, Lynn Duryea, Reeder Fahnestock, Fran Rudoff, Lynn Thompson, Mike Thompson. Bottom row: Dehmie Dehmlow, Seth Payne, Patrick Coughlin, Adero Willard, Stuart Gair, Kari Radasch, Malcolm Mobutu Smith

2019 Summer Residency in Pictures

The summer humidity has made way for crisp fall air as the last of our 2019 summer staff pack their cars and depart.  We feel privileged to have spent the summer in the company of so many amazing artists and makers who took part in the 2019 summer residency.  Please enjoy a few photos from each of the summer sessions.

Session I: Ephemerality in Clay

Session II: How Low Can You Go: Low Fire Love

Session III: Ceramic Sculpture Collective

Session IV: Spirit of the Absurd

Session V: The New Ancient

2019 Salad Days

Thank you to everyone who made 2019 Salad Days such a special occasion at Watershed! This community event began as a small picnic and has grown to have an attendance of nearly 600 people. Celebrating the 25th Salad Days with the support of guests and visitors from near and far felt very special to us. We hope you enjoyed a day of delicious food and stellar ceramic work made by Watershed’s large and varied artistic community. Below are a selection images to commemorate our day together. Thank you again for your support!

Salad Days Artist Dehmie Dehmlow made over 550 plates to choose from.

Hats were essential apparel on the sunny Salad Days grounds!

Watershed Board President Joyce Cohen with Abbey Chase

Past Salad Days Artist Meredith Host gives a demo.

Friends celebrated with their new ceramic wares.

Watershed staff and board members at work in the stein sale tent.

Dehmie Dehmlow with her trusted companion, Hadlee, and one of her plates.

Watershed co-Founder Chris Gustin leads a campus tour.

Guests of all ages celebrated under the tents!

Mouth-watering choices from Salad Days buffet.

Another happy guest with his new plate.

Each handmade plate had its own look and feel.

Most salads are made in the Watershed kitchen while others are generously donated by area restaurants.

New plates made by past Salad Days Artists

 

Session II: How Low Can You Go: Low Fire Love

In this guest post, 2019 Residency Session Co-Organizer Chanda Glendinning shares plans and ideas for the second session of the summer (June 16-28) focused on low-fire work. There is room for any artist interested in the session to join. Register now to reserve your spot or apply for a scholarship or work-exchange. Registrations are accepted on a rolling basis.  Applications for financial support are due February 15. 

Amanda Dobbratz

Well, hello, all of you bright, shiny, lovely people! Chanda here – I can’t tell you how happy I am to be returning to Watershed this summer, and joining forces with my co-host Amanda Dobbratz for Session 2: How Low Can You Go: Low Fire Love. I am so excited to have two whole weeks to immerse myself in the creative magic of Watershed and work and play and collaborate with the wonderful group of artists who are coming together for this session. I am foreseeing an explosion of color and red clay in the studios during our residency.

As I took another look at the images from our invited artists, and peeked into their studios via Instagram to see the freshest work still on their tables, the word “extravaganza” popped into my mind. From the goopy colorful glazes of Chris Drobnock and the narrative drawings of Lynne Hobaica, to the slip cast and decal-ed abundance of Shenny Cruces, the sgraffitto-ed jackrabbits and skulls of Jamie Adams and the subtle layered slips and glazes of Amy Evans to Margaret Haden’s multiple techniques that contrast decal & luster work with hand drawn informal lines, our invited artists are a varied and interesting bunch! I can’t wait to see old friends and make many new ones as we work side by side in the studio together.

Margaret Haden

 

We encourage all participants to bring some bisque ware. Not that we won’t have our hands deep in fresh clay as soon as we possibly can, but I know from experience how fast two weeks can fly by, and we want everyone to have the opportunity to explore and share and over-indulge in all of the unpredictable delight of salt and soda at low fire temperatures. I’ve had some really interesting results from my kilns at temperatures as low as cone 04 with a variety of surfaces – bare clay, underglaze, slips, glaze. If everything goes according to plan we’re hoping to squeeze three rounds of kilns in, so there will be a bit of room for trial & error, and something for everyone.

Amy Evans

I am anticipating those long lovely studio days – easy banter wafting through the air, collaborative work being passed from one person to the next, gathering around a table for a quick little demo. I see art, and life, and stories shared after dinner as informal slide talks, before heading back down the path for just a few more minutes of studio time. I foresee moonlit walks back to our beds, the crunch of gravel under our feet, and sunlit afternoon dips in Peter’s Pond once the kilns are loaded. I am impatiently counting the days until June, and looking forward to seeing what the synergy of this group will bring forth from our time at the ‘Shed. Let’s experiment together and see just how extravagant and “low” we can go!

Register today to join this dynamic group of artists for some low-fire bonding!

Ephemerality in Clay: Summer Session I Preview

In this guest post, Kate Roberts shares the inspiration and ideas that led her to organize 2019 Summer Residency Session I: Ephemerality in Clay. Additional participating artists include Alida van Almelo, Peter Barbor, Magdolene Dykstra, Rachel Eng, David Katz & Erna Skuladottir. Space in the session is available for those interested in joining the group from June 2-14. Learn more and register for this session.

Upon completing graduate school in 2015, I prepared myself for the nomadic lifestyle I was about to embark on.  Not only was storage becoming almost non-existent but the realities of a life without a kiln felt like an imminent possibility.  I knew my practice might need to change to accommodate these new circumstances. In graduate school, I had experimented with creating work with unfired clay.  In this state, I was able to create pieces that exuded a fragility thematically relevant within my work. For the past four years, my work has almost exclusively been dedicated to understanding the limits of clay in its many stages from dust, to wet slip, to unfired.  It has given me the freedom to explore scale and place. My dream no longer was a successful kiln firing but the ability to show up at a location with my toolbox of materials and create in the moment.

Roberts in the studio

Kate Roberts

In recent years, there has been an increasing number of artists who are exploring raw clay through its inherent physical qualities, its range of transformation, its connection to site, and its ability to discuss time in its relation to people, circumstance, and geography.  For the Watershed Session Ephemerality in Clay, I have invited a range of artists who work with raw clay for different reasons.  Some were excited by the freedom to experiment, a few were interested by its ability to grow their work in scale, while others navigated to it out of necessity due to lack of access to or funding for kilns or work space.  I believe the diverse range of approaches will allow all artists present to find commonalities and possible collaborations on site or in the future.

Erna Skúladóttir, Inundation 2

 

The geography of Watershed makes it the perfect site for this session.  We will have the ability to not just work indoors but outside where raw clay has the chance to be informed but also challenged by the surrounding nature and elements.  In addition to exploring investigations in raw clay both personally and collaboratively, all artists attending, before dinner each evening, may present an informal slide talk or discussion of their work.  I foresee these discussions covering the strengths and challenges professionally in working in a temporal way. We each will have the opportunity to share techniques, ask questions and learn from each other.  I’m most interested in learning others’ ways of navigating discussions of shipping and finding funding for installation. Through sharing these diverse experiences and knowledge we can create a greater dialogue and visibility to composing in this alternative way.

Alida van Alemlo

 

I can’t wait for June to meet, or in some cases meet again, artists that have or will inspire me.  And also, the time this session will afford me to further explore the vast possibilities of this material that—in the end—is just dirt!  

Any artist who is comfortable working independently in a clay studio may join this residency session. While the focus is on ephemeral work in clay, participants are also welcome to fire work in Watershed’s kilns. Sign up for the session here. For those interested in participating with the support of scholarships or work-exchanges, please apply here. Financial assistance applications are due February 15. 

Spirit of the Absurd: Summer Session IV Preview

Hello, this is Carolyn Baginski! Fellow ceramist Heather Kaplan and I have co-organized Summer Residency Session IV: The Spirit of the Absurd, which will run from July 28 to August 9 at Watershed this summer. Heather is Assistant Professor of Art Education at University of Texas, El Paso and I am a ceramic artist and middle school art teacher in Columbus, Ohio. The session we have developed will focus on the “Serious Making of Absurdity in Ceramics” and we aim to explore this topic through joy and merrymaking!

Ryan Kelly, “Self Loathing Narcissist”

 

During our session, we plan to call on the power of the absurd to create community, build meaning, and make sense of the absurd political, social, and cultural times we find ourselves in. While immersed in the serenity of Maine’s lush landscape, participating artists will engage in the serious work of the silly, humorous, harebrained, daffy, nonsensical, screwball, unbelievable, unreasonable, irrational, fantastical, ludicrous, illogical, low brow, trivial, kitschy, campy, and absurd. As humans, we know that laughter and fun are integral to life. Through this session, we will explore the question “How can a disposition of playfulness and absurdity contribute to creating thoughtful and thought-provoking artwork?”

Kim Tucker, “Oooweenow”

 

Artists Ryan Kelly, Kim Tucker, Benjie Hue, Andy Sloan Jackson, and Seana Higgins will anchor the session with us. Heather, our invitees, and I have a lot in common. We all draw on art movements like that of Dada and the West Coast Funk Ceramics as well as the traditions of the figurine, souvenir, and commemorative object.

Heather Kaplan, “Play and Display”

 

We want to invite you to find community and camaraderie in our play and merrymaking. We understand that fun is subjective but ultimately it is a lens with which to see the world differently and a tool to make connections between ideas and people. We approach the residency with this in mind and with sensitivity toward multiple views of fun and community. In addition to the organic conversations that happen among artists working side by side, we plan to share optional readings and presentations about the more nonsensical facets of ceramics.

Carolyn Baginski, “Still Life with Lemons and Goats”

 

Heather and I have both attended sessions at Watershed before and are beyond excited to return. Watershed provides the perfect mix of studio community and dedicated time to investigate new ideas. For both of us, time at Watershed means time to work alongside other artists while building social and conceptual connections.

Any artist who is comfortable working independently in a clay studio may join this residency session. Sign up for the session here. For those interested in participating with the support scholarships or work-exchanges, please apply here. Financial assistance applications are due February 15. 

 

The New Ancient: Summer Residency Session V Preview

“There is no civilization that has not produced great ceramics.”

—Roberta Smith

 

In this guest post, Ginger Lukas and Matt Merkel Hess share their plans for Watershed 2019 Residency Session V: The New Ancient. Several spots are still available for those interested in joining the group from August 11-23. Learn more and register for this session.

Our Watershed session, The New Ancient, will focus on how to use the 15,000-year history of vessels to make ceramics in our post, post, postmodern time. Through shared work time with a variety of invited artists and a visiting critic, we’ll examine how history, technology, tactility and humor inform pottery today.  

The idea for the session started with a news article in Fall 2017: Japanese instant noodle maker Nissin released a limited edition Jomon Doki Doki ceramic Cup Noodle cooker that was a small but faithful recreation of a 3,000 year old Jomon vessel. Combining ceramics, pop culture and utility in a meme-worthy idea sparked a conversation between the two of us that has continued to this day.

We are both primarily ceramics makers in wide-ranging practices that include painting and neon. As “Elder Millennials” we also love a good ceramics meme. Inspired by Cup Noodle, Matt has taken a deep dive into Jomon-inspired forms, such as Jomon milk crates and buckets. Ginger has been ripping off ancient Chinese and Mayan temple incense burners while also copying take-out containers, plastic dollar store dinnerware and using ideas like .jar files to craft MetaData jars. You might be lol-ing (we hope you are) but we are very serious. 😉

We first connected online almost a decade ago and our studio visits and texts are almost always a dialogue around ceramics, critical issues in craft, and clickbait-ish pottery memes and other articles. As trained vessel makers, we are constantly asking what the pottery of the information age can/should look like. We now have access to nearly every documented pot in history, but what do we do with this knowledge? As these issues are foremost on our minds, we will bring them into the shared studio environment of Watershed.

We are very pleased to be joined by artists Ebi Baralaye, Stephanie Kantor, Jeffry Mitchell and Robert Raphael who all work with expansive ideas of the possibilities inherent in the vessel. Through a shared dialogue with these amazing artists, and visit for a few days by curator and critic Elizabeth Essner, we hope to circle around issues of the vessel for today and in the future.

The New Ancient is all about the mishmash of information, styles, and techniques in this age of Google Image search – we know everything about the past but are still discovering what can be mined in the present. Please join us this August as we continue this process of figuring out what vessels tell us about ourselves and the future.

Any artist who is comfortable working independently in a clay studio may join this residency session. Sign up for the session here. For those interested in participating with the support of scholarships or work-exchanges, please apply here. Financial assistance applications are due February 15. 

Reflections on the 2018 Summer Residency

As our summer staff members pack their cars and head off to their next adventures, the summer residency season draws to a close. We are grateful for all of the artists who shared in the 2018 residency with us. Please enjoy the following images and reflections from each of this summer’s sessions.

Pre-Session: May 20-June 1

In late May, eleven Pre-Session artist-volunteers arrived at Watershed to help prepare the buildings and grounds for the season ahead. The group spent their first two days on campus pursuing their own projects in the studio and then tackled an array of maintenance and facilities tasks. They spruced up the studio, painted the interiors and exteriors of the residential cabins, mixed 1500 pounds of clay, helped with grounds-keeping and landscaping, and stacked four cords of wood. Their instrumental support helped Watershed’s small staff immensely as we readied to welcome artists for the summer.

Volunteers included Cara Beglin, Sarahlynne Bradford, Georgia Cronin, Ben Culbertson, Gail Culbertson, Luke Fasano, Nadia Koltsoon, Mary Montgomery, Pam Nobles, Andy Rogers, and Lizaveta Romanovski. 

“I was baffled by the pure positivity that I experienced at Watershed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. Everyone was all-in, genuinely present, ready to work, and share.”

-Nadia Koltsoon

 

Session I: Breaking Tradition, June 3-15

Watershed’s first residency of the season brought together artists, designers, and curators interested in exploring new modes of sharing work in both physical and digital spaces—from pop-up shops and supper clubs, to animations, videos, and performances. Participating artists spent long hours in the studio, visited nearby swimming spots, and experimented with a range of atmospheric firings during their two weeks together. They also took a field trip to Ayumi Horie’s studio in Portland, ME. She gave the group a tour, demoed her air-release press mold, and discussed the origins of Pots In Action and the ways that the national and international dialog around clay and ceramic work continues to evolve.

Participating artists included Alexandria Algiere, Mérida Anderson, Brianna Burke, Taylor Carter, Kyle Demmon, Lindsey Hampton, Natalie Hererra, Ali Karsh, Taylor Kibby, Negina Kolesar, Shannon Maldonado, Ben Medansky, Jason O’Malley, Yelani Stieg, and Kelly Witmer.

“During my two weeks at Watershed I gained the confidence to fire my own kilns, knowledge of new techniques shared by the generous group of artists around me, friends and connections that will live beyond this experience, inspiration and enthusiasm that has flowed into my making back home, and a solid 5 pounds from all of the delicious meals. I left Watershed feeling full in all the best ways.”

-Ali Karsh

 

Session II: Ceramics in a Transdisciplinary Studio, June 17-29

Fawn Krieger and Emily Weiner organized a session for artists who work in a variety of disciplines—from photography and video, to portraiture, painting, installation, and social practice. The group was interested in exploring how clay can integrate with other methods and materials. While many of the participating artists had extensive experience working across media, many were relatively new to clay. The dynamic and innovative ways that they approached working with the material led to a wide variety of experiments and finished pieces.

Participating artists included Tyler Beard, Sasha Bergman, Amelia Carley, Suzanne Goldenberg, Fawn Krieger, Daniel McGarry, Keiko Narahashi, Ed Pell, Amy Pleasant, Leah Raintree, Amber Sandoe, Dustin Senovic, Barb Smith, Molly Surno, Daniel Trejo, Emily Weiner, and Payton Wiedner.

 
“The residency was an incredibly fruitful time working in a communal space was a welcome change from the usual privacy of my studio. There was an almost constant exchange of ideas, information, and possibilities.”
 
-Keiko Narahashi

 

Session III: Collective Makers, July 8-25

After completing formal training, many artists discover that finding a creative community can be challenging. Artistic collectives provide support, encouragement, and visibility for those with independent studio practices. During Watershed’s mid-summer residency, members of the Kansas City Urban Potters collective (KCUP) anchored a session that exemplified the collaborative spirit that the clay community cultivates. Participating artists worked day and night in the studio, hosted a fantastic (and fantastical) costume party, and spent time together on and off campus. KCUP artists also hosted a one-day demonstration workshop for regional ceramic artists. 

Session III artists included Carmen Allen, Christina Bendo, Kaitlyn Cirielli, Chandra DeBuse, Paul Donnelly, Mark Fehl, Tommy Frank, Rain Harris, Meredith Host, Kim Kirchman, Eder Perez, Kyla Toomey, Alex Watson, Adam Yungbluth, and Melissa Yungbluth.

“I think Watershed is a strangely magical place. Every time I have been there I take back something that later impacts my work in a meaningful way.”

-Rain Harris

 

Session IV: Women, Ceramics, and Community, July 29-August 10

Members of this sessionorganized by Normandy Aldenused Jenni Sorkin’s book, Live Form: Women, Ceramics, and Community, as a foundational text to examine how women clay artists have influenced and shaped the ceramics field over the last seventy years. In addition to spending hours together in the studio, the diverse group of participating artists held daily discussions on women’s collective history in clay and how the current political and social climate plays a direct or indirect role in their work.

Participating artists included Normandy Alden, Mary Barringer, Elisa DiFeo, Jackie Fischer, Michelle Grey, Nicole Gugliotti, Aisha Harrison, Noelle Hiam, Dana Lofink, Aysha Peltz, Liz Quackenbush, Deborah Rapp, Tracy Ren, Holly Roberson, and Hilda Steckel.

“My experience at Watershed fed my soul. Being several years out of grad school and mid-career, uninterrupted studio time is hard to come by. The fact that it was complimented by excellent fellow artists, including the amazing staff, meaningful discussions, and swimming made it all the more sweet.”

-Nicole Gugliotti

 

Session V: The Surface Exchange, August 12-24

Shanna Fliegel created a session for artists and makers interested in exploring new ways to develop the surface of their work. Participating artists shared strategies they use in their own studios during informal demonstrations and discussions. The group fired Watershed’s soda kiln and enjoyed experimenting with a range of surface development techniques.

Participating artists included Estelle Berrebi-Hurst, Sukjin Choi, Joe De Pinho, Shanna Fliegel, Zahava Friedman, Joshua Hamilton, Sarah Leber, Melissa Mencini, Joyce Nagata, Brooke Noble, Adams Puryear, Chanakarn Semachai, Candace Sidner, and Megan Whetstine.

“Watershed exceeded my expectations. Having two weeks to completely immerse myself in clay and exchange techniques with other artists inspired me and lifted my work to the next level. I hope return to Watershed, as it was an unforgettable experience that profoundly influenced my work and how I think about clay.”

-Zahava Friedman

 

Clay Education with POW!

Artist Hayne Bayless believes in the magic of mud. “Teaching pottery to kids may ultimately solve the world’s problems,” he says. Bayless and several other New England-based teaching artists spearhead Pots on Wheels! (a.k.a. POW!), a mobile clay education project that brings ceramic art lessons to communities around the region. Watershed partnered with POW! in early July to work with Maine youth through an outreach effort supported by the Morton-Kelly Charitable Trust. 

On July 12, POW! educators parked their large yellow truck under a grove of trees at Portland’s Riverton Boys and Girls Club. Bayless and fellow teaching artist Hannah Niswonger opened the back of the truck and set up heavy tables covered in canvas, rolling pins, large blocks of clay, and a pottery wheel complete with a banana-shaped seat padded with foam. The children from the Boys and Girls Club joined the POW! instructors under the pines to try their hand at creating with clay. Students had the opportunity to build functional and sculptural vessels, and to throw work on the potter’s wheel for the first time. Staff from the Boys and Girls Club and partners from A Company of Girls assisted the youngsters with their projects (and enjoyed making a few items themselves!).

The children eagerly awaited their chance to try the wheel. Bayless gently guided them through the process of centering the clay and bringing up the walls of their creations. After their initial attempt at wheel throwing, several students were hooked on the process. They immediately walked to the back of the line to wait for a second turn. 

Niswonger led another group of students through the hand-building process, showing them how to slip and score pieces together and how to select appropriate tools for their projects. The POW! instructors also pre-made numerous leather-hard plates that the children could paint with colored slips. Watershed studio staff will kiln fire the pieces and return them to the Boys and Girls Club members later in the summer. 

The following morning, POW! visited the Morris Farm, an agricultural education center in Wiscasset. The farm runs a summer camp program for youth ages 4-12. Earlier in the week, Camp Director Lisa Packard led the campers on a clay-digging expedition at the farm. The group shared with Niswonger and Bayless that the clay they dug from the creek was “soft, gooey, full of pebbles and grass, cool, and sometimes dry.” After comparing the commercial clay to the clay they dug, the campers tried out POW!’s new plate press—invented by Bayless and Niswonger. The youngsters flattened discs of clay on the bottom of the press and then used a lever (and all their might) to sandwich the clay between two heavy, circular pieces of wood. “It reminds me of a waffle-maker,” remarked one camper. After letting the finished forms dry in the sun, the students decorated their plates with colorful slips. 

“The POW! program added depth and new experience to our campers’ time exploring natural clay in our creek and digging in our different soil types,” shares Packard. “We are grateful that POW! and Watershed chose the Morris Farm for this project!”

The final stop on POW!’s Maine tour was Watershed’s 24th annual Salad Days festival.  For the third year in a row, Watershed visitors of all ages had the opportunity to learn from POW!’s instructors. Participants took part in an ongoing exchange by selecting finished pieces to keep from POW!’s project gallery and leaving their completed work to be fired and shared with future students. 

2018 Salad Days

On July 14, Watershed welcomed nearly 600 visitors to Salad Days, a celebration of local food and handcrafted ceramics. This annual art- and craft-filled festival features a picnic buffet of fresh salads that guests enjoy on handmade ceramic plates that they keep.

 

2018 Salad Days Artist Christina Bendo lived and worked at Watershed during the summer of 2017, creating more than 500 plates for the event.  The plates were made of clay dug from Maine riverbeds and processed in Watershed’s studio. Bendo decorated the surfaces with images of flowers and foliage she found on campus and in nearby environs. “I seek to evoke a connection to place by using site specific materials and motifs in my work,” explains Bendo. “I was excited to work with Watershed clay because it carries the history of the region and community.”

In addition to enjoying a delicious lunch and a new handcrafted plate, visitors watched pottery demonstrations by master ceramic artists, toured Watershed’s grounds and studios, listened to live music, and won unique ceramic pieces in the art raffle.

The Invitational Pottery Sale featured work by more than 20 artists from around the U.S., including members of Kansas City Urban Potters, who were in-residence at Watershed during the summer session that coincided with Salad Days.  A number of Maine artists also sold work in the pottery tent and in the popular beer stein tent.

Pots on Wheels! ( a.k.a. POW!), a mobile clay education project that brings pottery lessons to communities around New England, offered visitors a chance to try their hand at creating with clay. After making a piece, guests chose finished works from the POW! project gallery to keep, and left their work to be fired and claimed by future POW! visitors. Other arts nonprofits sharing information about their organizations at Salad Days included the Maine Craft Association, the Society of Arts and Crafts, and Studio Potter magazine.

Funds raised during the celebration support Watershed’s community education and residency programs. We are grateful for the support of our Salad Days Sponsors —including  Ames True Value Hardware, First Advisors, J. Edward Knight Insurance, Jeffrey Spahn Gallery, Laguna Clay Company, Renys,  and H. Chester Wright, Inc —along with the many visitors who celebrated with us this year.