Made in Michiana: Goertzen's Pottery
Made in Michiana takes ABC 57 to Goshen! That's where we discovered Goertzen's Pottery. It's located in the Old Bag Factory.
We checked out the shop, where you can buy these unique, one-of-a-kind pieces, or watch how they're made.
Goertzen Pottery owner Mark Goertzen has had his hands in clay for over three decades.
“The fun thing is, I’ll never learn it all,” Goertzen said.
In the beginning, he never pictured himself running his own shop.
“ I only intended to come up here and work for a year in 1989, and I loved it so much that I continued working here. And then I loved it so much that I bought the business,” Goertzen said.
Today, he gets to infuse his passion into about 80 percent of the pieces he sells in his shop.
“It takes a while to learn that touch. Because it is touch,” Goertzen said.
He has help from a handful of other local potters. Goertzen provides an exclusive selection of handmade pieces at his shop.
“We do offer some more high-end, one of a kind, vases and things like that,” Goertzen said.
He's got vases, pitchers and everything in between.
“People in the area really do like coming for something handmade,” Goertzen said.
It starts in his back-room studio.
“So this is called centering. So that you make it so that you hope this clay is not wobbling one way or another,” Goertzen said.
It's a place you can tell Goertzen feels most at home.
“The outside hand is a little below the inside hand. It’s about figuring out the right pressure so that the clay hits, and I’m sort of pushing the clay up, and it has no place to go but squeezed up a little bit,” Goertzen said.
And it's where he molds, shapes and perfects his ever-evolving selection of pottery.
Next, he fires his piece in an oven, dips it in a glaze to give it a glass look, and fires it one last time.
“If I don’t know how everything turns out each time, it makes it more interesting,” Goertzen said.
Each piece, is signed with his maker's mark for a product with individuality, made right here in Michiana.
“You get the spirit of the maker here,” Goertzen said.
Mark tells us everything is dishwasher and microwave oven safe. He also teaches other young artists who are interested in pursuing pottery as a career.
If you have an idea for our Made in Michiana series, shoot us an email at News57@ABC57.com.