Art/Shopping: Tour de Clay of Tampa Bay

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When I got married, a family friend from California who is also a rather talented potter sent us a tagine – a two-piece traditional Moroccan cooking dish with a circular base and a large cone-shaped cover. It arrived broken. The heavy, solid gray casserole dish he sent to replace it was a bit more practical for day-to-day use but that, too, came to us damaged. Attempt number three was a round, squat, sturdy little vase-shaped piece that had been glazed and fired so that the top was a crackled celadon green and the bottom a deep, shimmering violet. Although impractical, the piece is among my most prized possessions both for its unbelievable loveliness and the thoughtfulness of the person who gave it to me. You can pick up some gorgeous, high-quality pottery of your own during this weekend’s Tour de Clay of Tampa Bay. Four stops spotlight 13 members of the Florida Westcoast Ceramics Society, a few who’ve never before shown their works in a public setting. On Saturday, each studio hosts its own kiln opening; on Sunday, throwing demonstrations are presented through the day. Dec. 13-14, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat.-Sun., at Pottery Boys Clay Studio, 30 Bogie Lane, Palm Harbor, 727-736-4870; Clay and Paper Studio, 110 Peterson Ave., Palm Harbor, 727-772-9570; Rising Sun Pottery, 1112 W. Carmen St., Tampa, 813-253-6055; and San Antonio Pottery, 11903 Curley Road, San Antonio, 352-588-4228.

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