(Developers of the Strictly Functional Pottery National)


The organization was founded in 1946 as the Conestoga Valley Chapter of the PA Guild of Craftsmen. In 1988, reorganization took place to form into two separate organizations: The Market House Craft Center, a nonprofit [IRS 501(c)3] educational organization whose mission is the encouragement, education and promotion of quality crafts and craftsmanship. and Lancaster Designer Craftsmen, an [IRS 501 (c) 6] organization which is a membership organization for craftspeople and friends. The purpose of this organization is to encourage and promote Pennsylvania crafts and craftsmen. Membership numbers about 150 craftspeople.

MHCC Location: From 1946 to 1981 the organization met in various locations including member’s homes, and nearby college buildings. In 1981, the chapter moved to its first permanent home in the lower level of the Southern Farmers Market, which was constructed in 1888 and is owned by the city of Lancaster. The MHCC remained there until 1995 when they moved out because of a lack of handicapped access and a deteriorating neighborhood which resulted in fewer people in attendance at activities. In 1995 the MHCC moved to the ARTWORKS at Doneckers in Ephrata, in Lancaster County, where it remained until the financial obligation was more than the organization could bear. At present the MHCC has no permanent location. Our meetings and activities are held in various public buildings.

Strictly Functional Pottery National: Support since 1992-1998 for the each of our Strictly Functional Pottery National Exhibitions, until we were able to become self- supporting. Proudly, we are now have achieved a “break-even” status with the SFPN. The Steinman Foundation grant, which enabled the MHCC to remain open longer hours during the summer tourist months of 1990. City of Lancaster Arts Grant in 1992, which helped support the 2nd Annual Strictly Functional Pottery National exhibition. Lancaster Designer Craftsmen raises funds to provide the remainder of MHCC financial support mostly by publishing the Art and Craft Show Directory for Lancaster County and Surrounding Areas: This directory, which began as a service to the community has become our major fund raiser.

Sixty volunteers work many hours to make the Strictly Functional Pottery National a success every year. Without these dedicated volunteers, the MHCC would not be able to present an exhibit of such magnitude.