Archive for the ‘Clay Festival’ Category

Falling Rivers Gallery in Albemarle, NC, Presents 5th Annual Pottery Show – Sept. 28 and 29, 2012

September 13, 2012

Falling Rivers Gallery and the Stanly Arts Guild in Albemarle, NC, is honored to host “Celebrating our Pottery Harvest”, the 5th Annual Pottery Show at the Gallery, located at 119 West Main Street in Albemarle. The Show will be held on September 28th and 29th, Friday and Saturday. The hours are 10am-5pm on both days with an open reception held until 7pm on Friday evening. Potters from Stanly and surrounding counties will showcase their work and offer them for sale. For the past four years, the show has attracted pottery enthusiasts from across the state.  This year’s event includes returning potters as well as first-time participants.

“We are expecting to have a great selection of new work by our current members and visiting potters at this year’s show. As always, we want to expose the public to innovative new artists as well as bring new collections from their favorite local potters” states Nancy Lipe, Gallery Director of Falling Rivers Gallery. Unlike traditional pottery shows, this event is able to utilize the resources of the Gallery for checkout and wrapping.

“This show is fun for the potters as they can spend their time interacting with customers and each other, and also for the customers as they have a single checkout rather than having to pay each potter individually for purchases.  It creates a very laid-back atmosphere in this very beautiful Gallery setting” adds Bobbie Listerman from River Road Clayworks.

This year the Gallery will host pottery from eight area potteries including three potteries participating for the first time.

The Falling Rivers Gallery is the cooperative sales venue of the Stanly Arts Guild and is supported in part by the Albemarle Downtown Improvement LLC and the Stanly County Arts Council, and receives support from the North Carolina Arts Council, an agency of the Department of Cultural Resources, and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes a great nation deserves great art.

More information can be found on our website at (




6th Annual Spruce Pine Potters Market Invitational in Spruce Pine, NC, is set for Oct. 13-14, 2012

July 5, 2012

The Spruce Pine Potters Market Invitational is a weekend sale featuring 30 ceramic artists from Mitchell and Yancey Counties in NC and attracts several thousand people to the region each year. “Visitors enjoy seeing an artist’s studio, but at this special gathering you can meet many more artists in one afternoon than you otherwise are able during a studio tour,” says Toe River Arts Council Executive Director Denise Cook.

One participant most definitely worth meeting is Cynthia Bringle, who is as much a fixture in Western North Carolina’s mountains as the tucked away hollers themselves. “I make work because I love doing it and because of the pleasure I get from people telling me they use my work every day,” says Bringle, a North Carolina Living Treasure. Regarded as one of the most influential artists in her field, Bringle has kept a studio and home in Penland since 1970, where she works on her signature goblets, turtle vases, vessel sinks, platters, mugs, and more. Although her work has been collected around the world, Bringle says she is happiest when it’s found on someone’s kitchen table or in the cabinet, because “most of all, a pot is to use.”

Works by Cynthia Bringle

Western North Carolina is home to several other Living Treasures, including Norm Schulman, an exhibitor at last year’s SPPM. “Meeting your neighbors who have reached this phenomenal status in the world of arts and crafts creates pride for this sense of place,” says Cook. “It also gives young people inspiration and a sense of possibility for creating a living through their life-long passions.” Additional exhibitors at this year’s invitational include Melisa Cadell, Shane Mickey, Liz Summerfield, Tzadi Turrou, Nick Joerling, and more.

Ceramicist Jeannine Marchand is the 2012 SPPM Emerging Artist, selected for her unique framed fold wall pieces made with white earthenware. Once the clay is dry, Marchand finely sands and fires the work, resulting in an uninterrupted surface that lets light travel to create natural areas of brightness and shadow. It’s an uncommon technique in the region, and the effect is breathtaking.

Work by Liz Summerfield

“I have been living in this area on and off since 2000, but I left for two years in 2006 to continue my ceramics graduate studies in Michigan, and again 2010 for a residency in Colorado,” says Marchand. “During that time, I got married, and we decided to make Spruce Pine our permanent home. It’s been a wonderful experience reintegrating into this community as a family and as a local artist.” In addition to wall pieces, Marchand will be showing small-scale sculptures, functional work, and—with any luck—her newborn baby.

Work by Nick Joerling

Check out this year’s much anticipated show, Oct. 13-14, 2012, from 10am-5pm at the historic Cross Street Building in downtown Spruce Pine. Admission is free and light breakfast and lunch options will be available on site. SPPM is an affiliate organization of Toe River Arts Council.

For more information, visit ( or call 828/765-0520.

3rd Annual Joara Pot­tery Fes­ti­val Takes Place in Morganton, NC – May 19, 2012

May 10, 2012

The 3rd Annual Joara Pot­tery Fes­ti­val will take place at the Old Armory Building in historic Morganton, NC, on Saturday, May 19, 2012, from 10am to 4pm, sponsored by the Explor­ing Joara Foun­da­tion.

This pre­mier pot­tery show will fea­ture 30 hand-picked pot­ters from through­out West­ern North Car­olina. These tal­ented artists are well-known for their dis­tinct pot­tery and rep­re­sent both con­tem­po­rary and tra­di­tional clay styles.

Work by Claudia Dunaway

Participation potters and potteries include: Andrew Stephenson, Banfield Pottery, Caroleen Sanders, Celtic Pottery, Claudia Dunaway, Corine Guseman, Courtney Long, Debbie Little, Donna King, Earthworks Pottery, Eck McCanless Pottery, Fred and Rose Pinkul, Gina King Ellis, Glenn Tanzer, Good Earth Pottery Studio, Hamilton Williams Clayworks, Hog Hill Pottery, Jinsong Kim, Ken Sedberry, Lazy Lizard Pottery, Leicester Valley Clay, Michelle Flowers, Mud Duck Pottery, Out of the Ashes Pottery, Puzzle Creek Pottery, Ron Philbeck Pottery, Rutherford Pottery, Shane Mickey, Turtle Island Pottery, and Tzadi Turrou.

Work by Donna King

Enjoy music, pot­tery demon­stra­tions, and food from the Pie Hole. Admit­tance is $4.00, chil­dren 12 and under FREE. Entrance fees go directly to Explor­ing Joara Foun­da­tion, a non­profit orga­ni­za­tion that spon­sors pub­lic involve­ment in Foothills arche­ol­ogy through edu­ca­tion pro­grams, arche­o­log­i­cal sur­veys, and exca­va­tions of Native Amer­i­can and Euro­pean settlements.

Work by Jinsong Kim

The Joara Pot­tery fes­ti­val event is spon­sored by the Explor­ing Joara Foun­da­tion. Through uncov­er­ing hun­dreds of Native Amer­i­can pots and sherds includ­ing 16th cen­tury Blue Span­ish Majolica, the foun­da­tion seeks to pre­serve and pro­mote the region’s rich pot­tery his­tory and tal­ented present day artisans.

The Foun­da­tion also pro­vides con­tin­ued sup­port for the archae­o­log­i­cal research in the upper Catawba and Yad­kin River val­leys, with a pri­mary focus on the inves­ti­ga­tion of sixteenth-century inter­ac­tions between Euro­pean colonists and Native Amer­i­cans in west­ern North Carolina.

The Foun­da­tion takes its name from Joara; the major Native Amer­i­can town in the upper Catawba Val­ley vis­ited by sixteenth-century Span­ish expe­di­tions led by Her­nando de Soto and Juan Pardo. Pardo built Fort San Juan near the town in 1567, cre­at­ing the old­est Euro­pean set­tle­ment in the inte­rior of the United States. Evi­dence of Joara and Fort San Juan has been unearthed at the Berry archae­o­log­i­cal site in north­ern Burke County. Numer­ous exam­ples of Native Amer­i­can and Euro­pean pot­tery and sherds have been uncov­ered at the Berry site, includ­ing Blue Span­ish Majolica, pro­vid­ing key evi­dence of Span­ish activ­ity and crit­i­cal dating.

Evi­dence from the Berry site is chang­ing his­tory text­books and has been cov­ered in National Geo­graphic, Smith­son­ian and Archae­ol­ogy mag­a­zines, and the UNC TV doc­u­men­tary “The First, Lost Colony.”

For further information call 828/439‑2463, e-mail to ( or visit (

From the Ashes of Many Kilns, Seagrove, NC, the Center of Pottery in North Carolina, Rises Every Spring

April 5, 2012

Now that’s something to think about. When you finish scratching your head – I’ll explain.

When you have to write about annual events, unlike the organizers who can just slap a number in front of the event’s name – we in the media – the elite media – have to come up with a clever hook. In this case I wish I had one in the kiln – cooking until it was ripe for reading. Unfortunately we’ll have to go with this one.

Work from Whynot Pottery

Potters in Seagrove are like the makers of Doritos – you can buy all you want – they’ll just keep making more. And, who can ever have enough pottery – especially the kind they make in Seagrove. When you have near a hundred competitors in a small community like Seagrove, unlike Doritos – you can’t keep cranking out the same old, same old – they’re always producing something different – different shapes, different clays, different glazes, and different patterns. That’s why people keep going back – you want to see what they’re cookin’ up now.

Work by Ben Owen III

Some people say I go to Seagrove too much. I say – tell me where I can go and see so much variety in such concentration? And, when they’re having a special organized event – all the better. Hey, I’m not saying Seagrove is the end of the world as far as pottery goes. I’ve seen some pottery in my day in other places in the Carolinas. Some of my best pieces didn’t come from Seagrove and some came from places far from Seagrove. There’s lots of great pottery being made all over the Carolinas with a heavy concentration in North Carolina, but the difference is…

The folks in Seagrove talk the talk and walk the walk. They go the extra mile to invite people to come there. They want to be number one and they work hard at it. I don’t wear blinders when I’m looking around the Carolinas. I see what’s going on and there’s no place promoting itself like Seagrove. I’m waiting for some other region to stand up and say – “Hey – what about us?” and then back it up. I’ve been waiting.

Work by Chad Brown

And like the old gun-slingers of the West – if you want to be number one – you have to be better every time to stay on top.

That’s why I’m big on Seagrove and have no problem telling people to go there and saying you won’t be disappointed you did – as far as the pottery goes. Seagrove as a town doesn’t have much to offer (nor does the town I live near), but I’m not telling you to go there for anything but the pottery and some pretty good scenery. And, with very few exceptions – they’re some pretty great people there too, but that’s a story for another day – the exceptions I mean.

Work by Bruce Gholson

If you’ve been there – you know what I’m talking about. If you’ve never been there – my gosh – what are you waiting for?

If all the stars and planets line up – I might even get to go there for this event. That’s right – another trip to Seagrove. How about you?

Here’s the official press release:

Editor’s Note: If you think my number of potters don’t match up with those mentioned in the press release, there are potters who don’t participate in all events and those few exceptions I mentioned. Also, one suggestion. Your best first stop on Saturday could be the NC Pottery Center. They have the scoop on the area and some nice exhibits too.

Celebration of Seagrove Potter’s Spring Kiln Openings Cool Off in Seagrove, NC – Apr. 21 & 22, 2012

The 4th Annual Celebration of Seagrove Potter’s Spring Kiln Openings will take place in and around Seagrove, NC, on Apr. 21 and 22, 2012. The event features the work of 65 potters representing 36 different potteries.

The Seagrove potters’ studios are nestled throughout the countryside – separated by short leisurely drives in and nearby the town of Seagrove.  At the various Seagrove potteries there will be special kiln openings and exhibits, new pottery works featured, demonstrations, and refreshments planned for the pottery lover.

Pick up a full-color Discover Seagrove map and guide at any of the Seagrove potters’ shops participating in the Spring Celebration. Each shop is celebrating Spring in its own way. Hours may differ from shop to shop.

Participating potteries include: Southern Spirits Pottery @ A. Teague Village, Avery Pottery & Tileworks, Ben Owen Pottery, Blue Hen Pottery, BlueStone Pottery, Bulldog Pottery, Caldwell-Hohl Artworks, Chris Luther Pottery, Crystal King Pottery, Dean and Martin Pottery, Dirt Works Pottery, Donna Craven Pottery, Eck McCanless Pottery, Fireshadow Pottery, From the Ground Up Pottery, Great White Oak Gallery, Hickory Hill, JLK Jewelry at Jugtown, Johnston & Gentithes Art Pottery, Jugtown Pottery, Kings Pottery, Lathams Pottery, Luck’s Ware, Lufkin Pottery, McNeill’s Pottery, Michele Hastings & Jeff Brown Pottery, Nichols Pottery, O’Quinn Pottery, Pottery by Frank Neef, Ray Pottery, Seagrove Stoneware, Smith Pottery, Studio Touya, Thomas Pottery, Tom Gray Pottery, and Whynot Pottery.

For further info visit the Seagrove Area Potters Association at ( or visit (

City of Columbia, SC’s Art Center Offers First Annual Spring Raku Festival and Open House – Apr. 14, 2012

April 4, 2012

The City of Columbia, SC’s Art Center is hosting its First Annual Spring Raku Festival and Open House on Saturday Apr.14, 2012. The Raku Festival is open to the public from 11am to 5pm at the Art Center & Backman Gallery, located at 1932 Calhoun Street, Columbia, SC.

There will be demonstrations from 5 RAKU artists including Alexander “Sasha” Federer (Feather Pottery & Interiors), Dr. Alexander Wilds (Benedict College), John Homewood (Homewood Hardwoods), David Wingo Sr. (A Touch of Glass), and the City of Columbia Art Center (Mike Van Houten, Mary Ann Myers and Tim Graham).  There is no admission charge for this event.

The Raku pottery firing process is a rapid technique in which a glazed ceramic vessel is heated to nearly 2,000 degrees then removed from the kiln when the glaze is red hot and molten and placed in a chamber with combustible material. After the material ignites, the chamber is sealed and flames consume the oxygen within resulting in unusual and beautiful metallic colors and surface effects.

Event participants can purchase one of the bisque pottery pieces created by the Art Center artists. They can glaze their bisque piece with the special Raku glazes and give to the kiln operator and observe the Raku process. While you are waiting for the piece to be fired, there are demonstrations to observe on throwing, glazing and hand building pottery as well as the Raku process.

There will also be available pottery ready to purchase and take home with you as well as on-going presentations about the art of Raku.

For further information contact Brenda Oliver, Cultural Arts Specialist by calling 803/545-3093 or e-mail to (

15th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival Takes Place in Hickory, NC – Mar. 23 and 24, 2012

March 13, 2012

The 15th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival will take place at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC, on March 23 & 24, 2012. It is a non-profit event benefiting the Catawba County Historical Association in Newton, NC, and the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove, NC.

Works by Kim Ellington

To read an earlier post click this link.

For further info visit (

Plan Now to Attend the 15th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival in Hickory, NC – Mar. 23 and 24, 2012

January 9, 2012

The 15th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival will take place at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC, on March 23 & 24, 2012.

The Friday Night Preview Party will take place Mar. 23, from 7-10pm. The main Festival takes place on Mar. 24, from 9am-5pm.

Preview Party Tickets: $40.00/person (reserve by March 16); Festival Tickets: $6.00/ Adult; and Children 12 and under $2.00. For ticket information or questions call 828/324-7294.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Catawba Valley Historical Association and the North Carolina Pottery Center.

This year, potter Daniel Johnston will speak on his travel experience and apprenticeship with Thailand potters, and how this knowledge has influenced his works. The lecture will be held at 11am, and is included in the Saturday ticket price. An exhibition of pottery complimenting Johnston’s talk will be on display during the Festival on Saturday. The exhibit is called, Committee’s Choice: Pots from the Festival Organizers.

Also on Saturday, in celebration of the Festival’s 15th year, a verbal appraisal event will be presented by noted auction and appraisal experts, Brunk Auctions out of Asheville, N. C.

For further info visit (