From floral-handled mugs to whimsical cat-shaped plates, lighted houses and more, Earth into Art showcases the strength and evolution of Greenwood’s pottery scene.

Check it out from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. May 8 at the Arts Center of Greenwood, 120 Main St.

More than 15 area potters will be selling hand-crafted clay items in the main gallery.

You are invited to participate in the “Helping Hands in the Community” clay tile project that same day, from noon to 3 p.m.

It is to be installed later at the Greenwood Soup Kitchen.

“Tiles will be pre-cut and ready for you to decorate, before they are mounted at the soup kitchen,” according to Beverly Burton, a potter with pARTners in Clay at Wyatt Farms in Greenwood.

View pottery wheel throwing demonstrations in the Arts Center Courtyard, too.

Burton said Southern stoneware has deep roots in South Carolina history, dating back more than 200 years in nearby Edgefield, alone, and Native Americans making items from clay before that.

“Piedmont Technical College started a clay/pottery program in Edgefield and that’s where many local potters here got their start,” Burton said. “People started taking classes and making pottery and opening studios.”

For Earth into Art, Burton said she’s been busy making functional pottery that’s ready for your next celebration.

For many years, beginning in 2012, Greenwood and Edgefield area potters collaborated on the annual Heritage Trail Pottery Tour and Sale.

Now, Greenwood and Edgefield clay artists are doing their own things in their respective counties.

“The goal (of Earth into Art) is to highlight that Greenwood is getting pretty darn big with ceramics,” potter Barbara G. Warner said. “Lander is partnering with us and is a big piece.”

Warner said Edgefield potters will host their Heritage Trail Pottery Tour and Sale from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday.

There are hundreds of different kinds of clay Burton said. Potters often start out learning to manipulate clay by hand before advancing to the potter’s wheel.

“You need to know when it’s time to just let it be,” said Greenwood potter Esperanza Landeros, who teaches wheel-throwing and other pottery classes at the Arts Center of Greenwood. “Music has inspired a lot of stuff that I’ve made and even cherry blossoms.”

A grant from the South Carolina Arts Commission is helping Greenwood Area Studio Potters (GASP) defray costs of Earth into Art and Main and Maxwell gallery and shop is providing aprons for participating potters.

Contact St. Claire Donaghy at 864-992-8934..