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Saturday marks 40 years for Bristol’s Wizard of Clay

The Wizard of Clay is holding a celebration Saturday to celebrate its 40th year in business in Bristol, Ontario County, and thank its fans.

The family owned business, which makes wheel-thrown pottery, was founded by the first wizard, artist Jim Kozlowski, and his wife, Lois. They couple retired in 2014 and their son, Jamie Kozlowski, became the only full-time wizard/artist, while his wife, Pegge Northrup, manages the business.

Jamie Kozlowski loads the kiln at the Wizard of Clay. Photo supplied by Wizard of Clay
Jamie Kozlowski loads the kiln at the Wizard of Clay. (Photo by Wizard of Clay)

“There are not a lot of small businesses that make it this long,”  Northrup said. “In a world where everything is bought on Amazon, this family-run, family-operated business is a testament to my in-laws. They built a foundation, and now we’re keeping it going.”

The celebration will include a pancake breakfast, artist demos and sales, a visiting alpaca, raffles, giveaways and pottery wheel demonstrations. Noble Shepherd Brewery will serve a special 40th anniversary “Wizards Brew” made with hops grown on the Wizard of Clay property.

“It’s the people that keep our business open,” Northrup said. “This celebration is a way for us to say thanks to our loyal customers.”

Wizard of Clay is known for its signature Bristoleaf pottery, which includes imprints of local leaves pressed into the clay before it is fired. The leaves burn away in the firing process, leaving a complete impression in the hardened pottery. Commemorative pieces of Bristoleaf will be for sale at the event.

The celebration runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the shop at 7851 Route 20A in Bristol.

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