When seeking a unique souvenir to capture memories of a trip or to recall a special place, many choose a piece of art or something handcrafted by a local artisan.
The Foundry Cooperative in charming Old Town Clovis offers local works abound, as every item housed within its walls is locally made. The Co-op features merchandise produced by eight artisans, with products including leather goods, paintings, soaps, jewelry and pottery.
Kathy Posey, of CnG Pottery, creates gorgeous stoneware pieces. Find her Co-op shelves stocked with a wide assortment of magnificent mugs, candleholders, plates, vases, pots, and even seasonal items like adorable ghost-shaped votives and clay pumpkins!
Here are FresNotes from local ceramic artist Kathy Posey.
What is unique about your pottery?
That is a very hard question for me to answer. I find inspiration from potters around the world. Initially a lot of what I created was a result of trying to mimic others, as I learned and developed my craft. People tell me I have a style, although I honestly don’t see it. I get bored doing the same thing over and over so I am always experimenting with new clays, forms and glazes. I love simple and organic, so my first love is my dark gritty clay and using simple glazes to show it off. My signature pieces are what I call my “sequoia mugs”, where I use a wax resist on the clay to depict our sequoia trees.
Your items are sold at the Foundry Cooperative in Old Town Clovis. Tell us about the shop.
I love the Cooperative! We are eight very like-minded artisans--handcrafting is our passion and everything in the shop is handmade locally. Karen from the Foundry had the vision to have a place in Clovis to support local artists. In the spring of 2019 she made the space formerly occupied by the Foundry available to us. I think we have a very well-rounded shop--offering handmade leather items, succulent arrangements and houseplants, beautiful art in many forms, silversmith jewelry, soap, bath bombs and personal care products, beautiful Bibles and journaling products, of course, pottery. Recently we invited a guest vendor whose product supports the fight against human trafficking. We officially opened May1, 2019, and I know we each feel very blessed to be a part of this unique shop.
What inspired you to begin creating pottery?
A few years ago as I was homeschooling my grandson. I thought an art class in the form of clay--in any form--would be a fun project for us to do together, so I looked for a place to take a class. The only place I could find was Clay Mix in Fresno, but there was a waiting list. My name went on the list and a year later I was notified about one seat available in a night class, so I enrolled. It took months to get the basics down but I was immediately 100% in love with all things clay!
I purchased a wheel off of Craigslist and used a kiln and dove in 100%. I had no aspirations to do anything more than make a few pieces for our home, and to give to family for Christmas. My grandson told me I needed to start selling some because there was no more room on the top of his piano! So, I participated in a parking lot handmade pop-up at Tractor Supply. The rest is history!
Are your items available to order online?
When Covid shut us down I opened an online shop, but now that we are back in business I can’t keep enough inventory stocked to do both, so unless I have a unique offering, my online shop is closed.
Which is your favorite Fresno County attraction?
We are homebodies, our free time is usually spent in the mountains. As the kids and grandkids grew up, we spent a lot of time at Fresno Chaffee Zoo.
We encourage everyone to support local restaurants—especially given their current challenges. What is your favorite local restaurant?
I don’t have one favorite! For brunch my all-time favorite is Patio Cafe in Fig Garden Village. For fine dining I love Trelio (in Old Town Clovis). For lunch with friends I go to House of JuJu (also in Old Town Clovis) and for a family dinner we go to DiCicco’s…and as I LOVE Mexican food, Toledo’s is high on the list.