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Like all crafters who want to sell things made out of clay, Pam Dorneman’s pottery has to pass inspection before she decides it’s worthy of going up for sale.
That is, the finished pottery has to put a smile on her face.
“If I take it out of the kiln and it makes me laugh, then I’m a happy camper,” said Dorneman, a dog-groomer since 1980 who has been selling her pottery the last seven years. “That’s it – it has to make me happy.”
A glance at her products hint that Dorneman might not take herself too seriously. Her work comes with assurances to potential customers that read: “Imperfections guaranteed” and “A few swear words were involved in making some of these.” There are cups that depict deer and moose with birds resting in their antlers, squirrels in trees wearing bird masks and bears dressed up like hipsters.
Her “Three Lazy Horses” product line is handcrafted pottery that is uniformly sturdy – it has survived several trips in the back of her husband’s pickup – but otherwise is difficult to classify.
“I’d always been interested in pottery, then I took some park and rec classes that were taught by former high school art teacher,” Dorneman said. “I took classes for a couple years and I guess you could say I never backed down after that.”
When her husband bought some new drag racing engines, Dorneman decided that meant she could buy her own kiln. Friends encouraged her to begin selling some of her work and she’s since settled into a rotation of shows over the year. This will be her first visit to 605 Made Holiday Market, held Dec. 1 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the parking garage at Cherapa Place.
“Interacting with the people and hearing their responses to your products is really fun,” Dorneman said. “Feedback can be valuable. I just enjoy doing it – I don’t have any interest in making it a production line – I don’t want to knock out 50 models of the same thing. I’m happy doing this at the rate I’m doing it.”
She’s a dog groomer and sculptor on the side. And her work is guaranteed to make you grin.