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Lake Park artist will be pottery star on cable TV

It's not often that a small, rural Minnesota community like Lake Park garners national attention, but loyal viewers of the cable station Home & Garden Television (HGTV) will be getting a glimpse of it during the 2006-07 television season.

Rural Lake Park artist Gaylen Peterson of Pine Hill Pottery will be the featured artist in an upcoming installment of HGTV's "That's Clever."

According to the show's producer, Kate Turnipseed, the show featuring Peterson will be aired sometime in late 2006 or early 2007.

"We shoot a season in advance," added the show's director, Arlington Forbes, as the episode was being filmed Wednesday at Peterson's rural Lake Park home.

Turnipseed said the show "That's Clever" is actually a renamed version of a show called "Crafters Coast to Coast."

"Our crews travel all over the country and find artists in each town we visit."

Artists can apply at HGTV's web site,, to be featured on the show, or they can be "found" by segment producers searching the Internet, Turnipseed explained.

"Gaylen was found," she added. "Our show focuses on the artists and how they make what they make, but it's also supposed to be entertaining -- so we try to find interesting (camera) angles and shots, have fun with what we're saying."

"This show is one part entertainment, one part inspiration (for other artists)," noted Forbes.

"Gaylen's a great host," he added. "He has great energy, and delivers his lines like a pro. He's up to trying new stuff, and we're having a lot of fun with him."

In one example: Peterson's segment on the show will focus on how he creates the rope texturing on Pine Hill's wood-fired vases (and other original pottery). So in one shot, Peterson stood on his potter's wheel as it was turning, while someone off-camera twined a rope around his body.

Peterson, who also serves as an art instructor at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy in Fergus Falls and occasionally teaches pottery classes for community education programs in both Lake Park and Detroit Lakes, said he is excited about seeing the episode when it airs.

Turnipseed noted that each episode includes contact information for the artist, in case anyone wants to purchase a sample of their work.

Peterson, a native of Wahpeton, N.D., said he opened Pine Hill Pottery in rural Lake Park five years ago. He said he originally got the idea to become an art teacher while studying at the North Dakota State College of Science. His former high school art teacher invited him to come back and do some pottery work at the school in Wahpeton.

His deep-seated interest in pottery came from the same teacher, who inspired him with a challenge during the last six weeks before graduation.

"He challenged us to pick any media for our final project, and I chose clay," Peterson said. "That was the beginning of my intense interest in pottery."

Peterson's art studio, Pine Hill Pottery, is located at 17718 County Highway 1, Lake Park. For more information, visit the studio's online web site,

He and his wife, Kristen, live with their three daughters -- Elisabeth, 10, Meghan, 7, and Katelyn, 4 -- in a home just across the driveway from his studio.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454