The American Art Pottery Association encompasses all periods and styles, president Arnie Small says. So the weekend events connected to its annual convention, being held for the first time in the Philadelphia area, will reflect the wide-ranging interests of collector and dealer members - from arts-and-crafts-era pieces to 1920s and '30s Rosewood and Weller to studio pottery from the latter half of the 20th century to the work of today's notable potters.

"Everything we do in our convention is open to the public," says Small, "Talking to show exhibitors and seminar guests is a wonderful way to develop your own collecting interest." Most activities are scheduled at the Sheraton Bucks County Hotel in Langhorne, site of the convention.

Today through Sunday, there will be seminars by experts on everything from Henry Mercer's Moravian Pottery and Tile Works to the

Dream Garden

glass-mosaic mural in the Curtis Building in Center City. Learning encourages buying, and starting at 4 p.m. today, the preview begins for more than 300 pottery lots to be offered at Rago Art & Auction Center in Lambertville, N.J.

More leisurely shopping will be possible at the Art Pottery Association's show and sale tomorrow and Sunday at the Sheraton. About 45 dealers will be selling vintage and contemporary pottery, including sculptural vessels by modern masters such as Rose Cabat. Collectors looking for the next big thing will be able to examine new works by potters like Paul Katrich, who covers his vessels with shimmering volcanic glazes.

Small says the group wants to extend its appeal to a younger generation of collectors: "There are very affordable pieces that can be bought at our show and sale."

- Karla Klein Albertson

The American Art Pottery Association's show and sale runs from noon to 5 p.m. tomorrow and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Bucks County Hotel, 400 Oxford Valley Rd., Langhorne. Admission: $6. Information and lecture schedule: