A Brief History

In January 1969, through the inspiration of Barbara Irvine, a small group of Burlington potters gathered together in the home of Trudy Hewitt to form the Burlington Potters’ Guild.
The main objectives of those organizing the Guild were:

  1. to bring together people with similar interest in order to encourage mutual stimulation and to exchange ideas,
  2.  to establish a Guild headquarters in order to provide studio facilities for members and for instructional classes,
  3.  to encourage and stimulate members through organized demonstrations, workshops, guest artists, and other activities,
  4.  to provide members with facilities for exhibiting and selling their work,
  5.  to stimulate among the general public, a greater interest in and appreciation of pottery

Under the very able and progressive leadership of the first president, Jeanette Plumb, membership in the Guild continued to grow. Meetings were held in the members’ homes. The Guild passed its first landmark when the first exhibit and sale was heldin May 1969, in Helen Schlumpf’s recreation room. By the fall of 1969, the Burlington Recreation Department provided the Guild with its first headquarters, the basement of “The Pines”. At this time, three second-hand wheels were purchased for members’ use, and classes for members and the general public were introduced.

By the fall of 1970, Guild membership had grown to fifty, and again with the help of the Recreation Department, the Guild was able to move into larger headquarters at “The Maples”. In 1972, there were 100 members in the Guild; two floors of the Maples were in use, and the Guild owned a considerable amount of equipment. In May, 1978, the Potters’ Guild moved into a grand new studio in theBurlington Cultural Centre, with the Weavers’ Guild, Sculptors’ Guild, Latow Photographers, Guild of Art, Rug Hookers’ Guild, and Guild of Fine Art.

In May 1979 the Potters’ Guild had 100 members, 18 wheels, 2 kilns, ran approximately 27 classes, 10 monthly workshops and meetings, a juried exhibition, two sales, occasional educational workshops and had a library of 30 books. The Guild also had a “Permanent Collection” of approximately 20 pieces voted on by fellow members as “best in show” pieces from each juried show.