Green Crafters, Part I: Bill Gossman Pottery

Meet Bill Gossman. Him and his lovely wife Janne were the first Green Crafters I met at the American Craft Council Show in St. Paul (see: Oh, the people you’ll meet!). Humble, approachable, absolutely likable. Those were my first impressions of Bill and Janne.

When I asked Bill if I could feature him on my blog, he was open to the idea. “So you’re a green blogger. What does that mean?” he asked me. I told him that I feature green products and companies that focus on design as a central theme to their work. His eyes lit up. He mentioned that he really doesn’t put a lot of effort into marketing his eco-friendly initiatives, simply because he’s always been doing them; nothing new or extraordinary, as far as he’s concerned.

Bill’s medium of choice is pottery and he started his career in 1974. While living in Denmark, Bill came to the conclusion that wood-firing his one-of-a-kind pieces would be better:

“I realized that being a wood-fired potter would involve a lot more effort but I thought that by using a renewable source of fuel was less expensive than using fossil fuels. As it turns out it is also less harmful to the environment.”

Bill only fires his pottery once, which saves time, energy and resources. He also incorporates local raw-materials in his glazes: “All of my work is free of toxins,” says Bill. I also found out on his website that he shares his home-made kiln and workspace with local artists and friends, in exchange for their help in firing his pieces.

But he doesn’t stop there. Bill and Janne tend to a small vegetable garden and buy local foods whenever possible. And as Mayor of New London, MN, Bill is working to pass a bill that would allow residents to raise their own chickens! According to Bill, this initiative will reduce the amount of kitchen waste and will be a renewable and cost-effective source for fresh eggs and meat.

Bill’s pieces are both beautiful and functional in their design. What’s even better is that they are made of entirely natural, bio-degradable materials, found locally in Minnesota. Bill incorporates eco-friendly practices in his work, as well as his personal and civic life. “Simplicity in my work and life is what I strive for.”

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Photos taken and used with permission from Bill Gossman, Bill Gossman Pottery
2 Responses to “Green Crafters, Part I: Bill Gossman Pottery”
  1. annerfiff says:

    Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!


    • gabyingreen says:

      Hi Christian,

      Thanks for showing your support for Green Design in Mind. I really love hearing comments of every kind, especially when they are happy!
      I’ve been a bit busy lately, but stay tuned for some great blog posts coming…

      Thanks for stopping by and hope to hear from you again!.
      Gaby in Green

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