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BRIEF: Circa Pottery hosts First Annual Mug Show

Local gallery invited artists nationally to participate in exhibition

Zoe Petersen unloads a soda kiln at Burnish Clay Studio in Bellingham, Wash., on Feb. 18, 2023. Soda firing is an atmospheric firing technique that adds soda ash to the kiln at the peak temperature. // Photo by Lauren Eydt

Circa Pottery, a ceramic gallery and shop located in downtown Bellingham, has called for artists' submissions from all over the country for its First Annual Mug Show. Although the submission deadline closed Feb. 15, the showcase will begin in April.

According to a post on their website, Circa Pottery was “looking for ceramic vessels (functional mugs with a handle or handle alternative) that encompass exemplary creativity, experimentation and imagination, showcasing what can be accomplished with ceramics.”

As many as 100 mugs will be featured at Circa through the juried invitational exhibition. The call was open to any ceramic artist in the U.S. and each artist could submit up to three entries. 

“I collect a lot of mugs. I think it’s the most fun shape to see a potter’s take on,” said Zoe Petersen, a potter from Twig Earthgoods

Petersen took up ceramics in high school and has been doing it seriously for the last seven years. She met Circa owners Brittany Schade and Erica Davidson through Burnish Clay Studio, a community ceramic studio, and started working with them to feature her art at Circa. 

Petersen planned to submit one of her mugs fired in a soda kiln for the show. Soda kilns are used for an atmospheric firing that involves adding soda ash when the kiln has reached 2,220 degrees. The soda turns into a gas and floats around the kiln, leaving the pottery with an organic look. 

“I kinda have an idea of what I'm gonna get but there's always an element of surprise with it. It's really exciting,” Petersen said. 

The exhibition will be held at Circa Pottery shop and gallery at 1319 Cornwall Ave #104 Bellingham, Washington, from April 1 to 30. There will also be an open reception, or art walk, on April 7. 

Lauren Eydt

Lauren Eydt (she/her) is a city news reporter for The Front this quarter. She is a second-year visual journalism pre-major and is working on a Fairhaven or studio arts double major. Lauren also loves to crochet, pet her cat and watch movies all at the same time.

You can reach her at

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