Although he entered Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City, Michigan as a premedical major, one class in ceramics led Karl Spörck to decide that pottery was his true love. This ultimately led Karl to earn both Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts degrees at Michigan State University.
Following the completion of his studies Spörck moved to Michigan’s beautiful Leelanau County to open a studio. “I wanted to have a pottery shop and we found an affordable piece of property on a good road.” Spörck established his “Brisling Pottery” on M-204 between Suttons Bay and Lake Leelanau. Although the selling season is relatively short in the area, Karl uses the off season to produce inventory for the coming year.
Spörck returned to Northwestern Michigan College in 1976, the same year he established his studio, to teach pottery on a part-time basis. Concerning his career as a teacher Karl says that “after 30 years of teaching, I still get excited when I see students respond to what I’ve shown them and take off on their own. My greatest satisfaction is seeing that they don’t need me anymore.” This enthusiasm for teaching is exactly what led Karl to be nominated for and selected as the recipient of the 2006 Adjunct Faculty Excellence Award the criteria for which is “teaching excellence, rapport with students, innovation in the classroom, and a sense of dedication.”
Visiting Karl’s small sales building is a unique experience. The potter may or may not come down to speak with you. If he does not, there are instruction for calculating your bill and leaving payment. In turning over his creations you will notice a number of them contain messages that Karl has carved into the bottom such as “Rain turning to snow tonight” or that “All is well.” The smaller pieces my have just the potter’s initials while the larger pieces will probably has the potter’s full signature and, if you are lucky, a personal message of great importance!
Work Available For Sale