Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Louisville Potter Melvin Rowe Demonstrates Hand-built Ceramics and Signs Books at Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea

Press Release Date:  Tuesday, May 26, 2015  
Contact Information:  Gwen Heffner
Information Specialist
Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea
Phone: 859 - 985-5448 Ext. 230

On Saturday, May 30, studio potter Melvin Rowe will demonstrate his hand-building techniques and sign copies of his book, “Making Pottery Functional,” from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea.

A native of Louisville, Rowe has been selling his functional stoneware since 1971. He has a bachelor’s degree in art from Western Kentucky University and a master’s degree from the University of Louisville. Rowe is the former director of the Metro Arts Center, taught ceramics at Spalding University and, since 1981, has been successfully creating, retailing and wholesaling his work throughout the country.

In the early 1980s Rowe began his career as a full-time production potter. His work captures a love of whimsy and humor, and while his pieces are both wacky and colorful – they are a blend of both his skill on the potter’s wheel and his hand-building mastery.

For his demonstration on May 30, Rowe will press clay into both clay and plaster “sprig” molds to achieve decorations that he will then apply to the surface of his wheel-thrown mugs and sculptures. This technique allows for raised and sculptural decorations to enhance his clay forms.


  Book and Sprig-molded ceramic works by Melvin Rowe

Rowe not only makes pottery, but has written numerous articles on marketing and sales for The Crafts Report, and articles on glazes for Ceramics Monthly magazine. His latest writing is his new book, “Making Pottery Functional” by Butler publishing. Rowe is a juried member of the Kentucky Guild of Artists and Craftsmen, past president of the Louisville Craftsmen’s Guild, and has participated in the Louisville Sister Cities program in Mainz, Germany.

Works by Rowe are regularly found at the Kentucky Artisan Center, located just off Interstate 75 at Berea, Exit 77. The center’s exhibits, shopping and travel information areas are open daily, year-round, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with the cafe open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free.

The center currently features works by more than 700 artisans from more than 100 counties across the Commonwealth. A gallery exhibit, “Turn, Turn, Turn: Lathe-Turned Works by Kentucky Artisans,” is on display through Sept. 12; and on display in the lobby, “Kentucky Murals by Frank W. Long” through July 4.  For more information visit us on Facebook at, go to the center’s website at, or call us at 859-985-5448.

The Kentucky Artisan Center at Berea is an agency in the Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.