Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Labor Day weekend in the Toe River Valley: Cousins in Clay, Digin' Pots and Soda Chicks & Chet

Three clay events happening in the Toe River Valley near Bakersville and Burnsville this Labor Day weekend! Check out the links for all the details.

Cousins in Clay at Michael Kline Pottery near Bakersville
With Michael Kline, Bruce Gholson, Samantha Henneke and Justin Rothshank

Digin' Pots a home sale celebrating pots at Linda McFarling's studio near Burnsville
Sale of home grown pots by Linda Mcfarling, Shane Mickey, and Karen Newgard


Soda Chicks and Chet Pottery Home Sale at Fork Mountain Pottery near Bakersville
Pots by Kent McLaughlin, Suze LIndsay, Gay Smith
2015 Guest Artists: Ellen Shankin & Josh Copus
Good pots, good company, delicious refreshments

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

This Weekend!!!

Home sale of pots by Linda Mcfarling, Shane Mickey and Karen Newgard. Located at Linda's studio, 39 pisgah mine road in burnsville, nc. Google map link showing location

Saturday and Sunday 10-5 RAIN OR SHINE.
Good food, great friends and wonderful pottery

information and questions call

Lion’s Mane/Yamabushitake (Hericium erinaceus),

Found this guy on our tree with Kristen Flournoy this afternoon. Really cool. Looks like a sea anemone on land! Or a bunch of spaghetti someone threw out.

"Hericium erinaceus (also called Lion's Mane Mushroom, Bearded Tooth Mushroom, Satyr's Beard, Bearded Hedgehog Mushroom, pom pom mushroom, or Bearded Tooth Fungus) is an edible mushroom andmedicinal mushroom in the tooth fungus group. Native to North America, Europe and Asia[1] it can be identified by its tendency to grow all the spines out from one group (rather than branches), long spines (greater than 1 cm length) and its appearance on hardwoods. Hericium erinaceus can be mistaken for other species of Hericium, all popular edibles, which grow across the same range. In the wild, these mushrooms are common during late summer and fall on hardwoods, particularly American Beech.
"  From  Wikipedia see link:

Or try this:

Monday, August 31, 2015

Glaze Workshop near Atlanta GA

This workshop has 25 people in it but they have added 5 spots so if you want to be a part of it call now. We are doing cone 6 glaze testing over a weekend and talking about glazes and firing.

⋅Cone 6 Ceramic Glaze Testing Weekend
September 25-27, 2015
Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth Georgia

The Hudgens Center for the Arts

(Located in the Gwinnett Center/Arena Complex)

6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Building 300 Duluth, GA 30097


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Big Lava Breakout On Pu'u O'o (Aug. 27)

Just  reminder that we live on a giant bubble of glaze that occasionally spills on to the kiln shelf!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Need housing in Asheville NC

Looking to rent a house in the Asheville area starting Oct. 1st.

I just got a contract on the house I'm selling in Virginia and have not yet found a house to buy in Asheville so I'm going to need a place to live for a while. I would prefer a house with a garage to store my pottery equipment but will consider an apartment. It must have reliable internet since I work from home.

 If anyone knows of a place, please contact Karen at

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Bailey Gas Kiln for Sale- Micaville NC

I've sold nearly everything from the studio, except this beauty.
It's a Bailey 18C Studio Deluxe Downdraft Kiln. Includes: shelves, furniture, pyrometer, multimeter, and kiln manual. Kiln modifications done by Ian Craven: arch top and front extended 6". Jim Bailey told me that he redesigned future kilns with these modifications. Kiln is located in Micaville, NC, near Burnsville, Spruce Pine and Penland. I'm asking $8000.

Clay Club meeting time changes for September and November and a question about October Clay Club

Heads up, Clay Clubbers! Here's some important info about the next few Clay Club meetings (apologies in advance for the length of this post - there's a short summary at the end):

For September - we'll be meeting at new Creative Arts Building at Haywood Community College. It looks like the date of our September meeting may need to be changed from our usual second Wednesday, and we may not know until on or about September 14. Jeff Chown, the North American representative for the Netherlands based kiln company, Blaauw Kilns, will present info about Blauuw's innovative high tech kilns. Also, Terry Gess (Clay Instructor, Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Pottery Program, and studio potter) will show us the Haywood Community College facility and do a demo and an interesting slide lecture. Keep a lookout for an email with the date and details for our September meeting. We'll let you know as soon as we can.

For November - guest speaker Alex Glover give a presentation on his research into Wedgwood and North Carolina kaolin. Alex is teaching a class on Wednesdays, and can't make our usual meeting time. At the last Clay Club meeting we discussed whether to schedule a different day for October or November. Clubbers said that October was a busy month and November would be better, so: November Clay Club will take place Thursday, November 12 at 6 pm at John Britt's studio near Penland. Here's Alex's summary of his presentation:

The title of the talk will be "Americas First Kaolin- The Cherokee Wedgwood Connection". The talk presents Josiah Wedgwood's quest for Cherokee Clay from the Americas as he commissions Charleston planter Thomas Griffiths to acquire the clay that was reportedly used by Andre Duche. Griffiths encountered many difficulties along the 300 mile journey but did acquire 5 tons of clay and delivered to Staffordshire England, and there is more to the story!

This leaves October. Based on the feedback at the last Clay Club I'm wondering two things: 1) whether to have Clay Club in October since it's a busy time for a lot of folks (and October Clay Club has been canceled in the past), and 2) if we do meet in October: is there anybody - especially anybody in or near Asheville - who would be willing to host? (I've had a number of requests for meetings in or closer to Asheville. I know lately our meetings have all been in the greater Burnsville/Spruce Pine/Bakersville area but that's because it is those folks who have offered to host.) Let me know in the comments below or by emailing me at

To sum up:

September Clay Club will be at Haywood Community College, date to be announced.

October Clay Club: let me know if you'd like to meet in October and, if so, if you'd like to host, or know someone who'd like to host (especially if you're in or near Asheville).

November Clay Club will take place at 6 pm on Thursday, November 12, at John Britt Pottery near Penland. Alex Glover will be our guest presenter.

FREE various magazines (near Penland NC)

Ian Meares left 3 small boxes of some old ceramic magazines, like Studio Potter, Ceramics Monthly, Sculpture, etc. Anyone want them??


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Potter wanted to share studio

Looking for a studio mate to share West Asheville studio.  Great location, perfect for a potter

Skutt Kiln FOR SALE Asheville Nc

Skutt Automatic Kiln, Model: KM-1231PK

--Cone 10, max temperature 2350 F

--240 volts

--3 Phase

--17,300 watts

--Depth interior: 31”

--Diameter interior: 28”

--Skutt Envirovent attached to the bottom of the kiln—pulls air through the kiln during firing, vents outside

We fired the kiln about 90 times (bisque and cone 10). We changed the elements at about 80 firings (We haven't come across the kiln log yet as we excavate our storage unit, so we don't have exact numbers.) We also replaced the motherboard to the kiln’s computer.

Skutt Automatic Kiln, Model: KM-1231PK -- $1,200. or best offer


This equipment worked wonderfully well for us. We hope that someone else will have a use for it.


We are leaving Asheville at the end of the week—if you decide to buy, you must be able to take it from our storage unit before we go—by Thursday Aug. 27th at the latest.

We also have 15 kiln shelves and numerous posts, as well as some glaze chemicals.

Contact Deborah DeSaix/George Inge at 520-447-9005 or 520-665-8210

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Ram Press (Grass Valley, California)

I have a 2-1/2 ton Ram press that I don't use any more and am in the process of down sizing my studio and would like to release this press to someone who could use it. The press is approximately 15 years old and probably could use a little tender care, along with the press I have 25 dies which is included in the $600.00 price.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Honoring Tracy Dotson with pots for the Pines at Penland

With apologies for not posting this sooner, Susan Feagin shared this message from Penland Executive Directer Jean McLaughlin. Tracy Dotson (pictured here watching a Penland 4th of July parade a few years back) was a Clay Clubber from way back and here is a way to remember him by making a pot (or a tax-deductible donation for a commissioned pot) for the Pines dining hall and kitchen at Penland. Thanks to Tracy's daughter Day for this wonderful idea.

Hello staff, residents, and core,

A spirited and moving tribute to Tracy Dotson’s life took place at the Penland portico on Saturday afternoon. To help us all remember and honor her father, Day asked that we send a note inviting you to consider making or contributing, in Tracy’s memory, handmade pots for the Pines dining hall. She said that the real need is medium and large bowls with straight, thick sides. And, if you are so inclined, she also said cash donations would be welcomed and she would use the funds to commission pots for the Pines kitchen.

Just deliver the pots to the Pines or mail a gift to Day Dotson, c/o Penland. If you want your gift to be tax deductible, make a check to Penland and indicate it is in honor of Tracy and we will get the funds to Day for the Pines pot project.

Many thanks,

Jean W. McLaughlin
Penland School of Crafts
P.O. Box 37, Penland, NC 28765
828-765-2359 x 109

Mosaic Video

Paul Frehe sent this Mosaic Video...interesting..

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

TRAC SURVEY - Please read Mitchell and Yancey County Artists


Thank you to all who completed the recent Artist Vision Survey as part of the Branding and Wayfinding Project conducted by North Star Destination Strategies on behalf of the Toe River Arts Council and its 18 community partners.

Congratulations to Will Baker whose name was drawn from among all those who completed the Artist Survey. Will's fee for the upcoming December Studio Tour will be waived.

The next phase in the Branding Project is a Community Survey to obtain input from the residents of Mitchell and Yancey counties in a variety of areas which focus on living and working in the Toe River area and what might attract new businesses and visitors to the region.

Whether or not you had an opportunity to complete the Artist Survey, as county residents you are invited to complete the Community Survey.

Only click on the attached link if you have a minimum of 15-20 minutes and are able to complete the survey without interruption.

Those who choose to include their names at the end of the survey will have their names entered in a drawing for a $50 TRAC gift certificate for use in either the Spruce Pine or Burnsville galleries.

Your continuing support of this important project which will benefit our local economy is very much appreciated.

Later this fall we will report the results of the Community Survey along with the results of an Artists Vision Survey. Thank you for taking the time to be a part of this project, which is so important to this area.

Denise Cook, Executive Director

P.S. If you would like to see an overview of the project, CLICK.

If you have any questions, please e-mail Project Coordinator Rob Heffron.

The Magic Garden Totem in Mosaic with Pam Brewer at Wildacres (September 28-October 4)

Openings Still Available!

Explore the craft and the art of mosaic, in this non-traditional approach to an ancient art form. This magical art form reveals its mystery, as we explore together in a beautiful mountain location. While enjoying Wildacres Retreat, we will be learning, and then breaking the rules of traditional mosaic. Enjoy resurrecting those old ceramic vessels, shards, or found items into a new work of art. In this newly extended class, we will be using concrete materials in creating a stacked garden totem, building forms and covering them with mosaic.

Monday September 28 thru Sunday, October 4, 2015

For further information or any questions, please feel free to contact me:


Monday, August 17, 2015

Geology at Mayland Community College

Don't know if it is too late to sign up (think it started today) for a geology class at Mayland with Alex Glover:

Saturday, August 15, 2015




Brent c wheel
Soldner kick wheel solid cast iron flywheel
1027 skutt kiln excellent shape, not computer programed, not fired more than 20 times.
Shelves and posts for kiln
4  big metal ware racks on wheels
Bellas blend clay 500 lbs
Minerals, stains, glazes etc
Plastic bats, molds, shelves, etc
Raku kiln, on wheels with pyrometer,
Thongs, gloves etc
Gas tanks
Trash cans
Wedging table
I have many more items. I'm selling  my clay studio,  because I am switching mediums. I will throw some things in free! All things clay must go!
3k for entire studio. Everything is in excellent shape, see for yourself.  Its everything you need to start a studio. Must be picked up, I can't deliver. Please don't ask me to sell all this separately, time is of the essence. Hence the sale. Price is firm. You are getting major pieces of  equipment for $300 to $400 or so each. Price oxides, you're getting a deal!
You are more than welcome to come see it all. 
Email me!!!!  SOLD! SOLD! SOLD! SOLD!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

August Clay Club recap: critiques at Linda McFarling's studio

I know I say this a lot, but seriously: what an awesome Clay Club last night!

Thanks to Linda McFarling for hosting and organizing the critiques. Thanks to Melisa Cadell, Susan Feagin and Shane Mickey for leading the critiques. And thanks to the five brave Clay Clubbers who put their work out there for all of us to discuss. The variety of work was really striking. Also interesting was the variety of input people were looking for. Thanks everyone!

Jim Kransberger wanted input on his piece below, titled "She's been around." This piece has been fired once and then decorated with acrylic paints and real stamps with varnish over them.

Linda McFarling likes the form on the turntable in the first picture when it has flowers in it - not so much when it's empty. She's been working on how to alter it so that it seems finished whether it's empty or not. One of the first things that happened was that Melisa picked it up and turned it so that it was vertical - pretty sure I heard a collective "Oh" or something when she did that. Also discussed were the number and placement of the holes, and finishing the holes so that they're more natural-looking, like maybe molding the holes around around a finger.

Claudia Dunaway wanted input on how to make her body of work seem more cohesive. She spends a lot of time making the pieces she loves, but they're not necessarily the ones that sell. One suggestion was to make the pots she loves making bigger. Paraphrasing Claudia on that suggestion: If I make bigger pots, the pots that are now the Cadillacs become the Chevrolet.

Annie Thayer brought the smallest piece. She loves making these birds. She wanted input on what to do with them. Some of the suggestions included putting the birds on a pedestal (so they look less like a trinket), making them with a mold to speed up the process, and using terra sig. Another suggestion was to look at glass artist Shane Fero's birds. (You can see some of Shane's birds here:

Bridget Fox brought a ceramadelics light sculpture. We had to step into a darkened room to view it and it was totally worth it. The porcelain piece is lit from the inside with LED lights that continually change color. I tried to take a video of it but it does not do this piece justice. Bridget was looking for input from the ceramic community on this line of work. She said her most recent ceramadelic piece took a week to make. How can she sell these? Who is in the market for something like this? A couple suggestions included working with interior designers and looking at how glass artists market high end sculptures.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

New Pottery Studio in Weaverville Seeks Funds for New Kiln

Greetings Clay Clubbers! 

I wanted to take a moment to pass along a wonderful, local, Kickstarter Campaign put together by three hard-working potters in Weaverville, NC. Since graduating from the Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Program in 2014, Missy Batten, LeElaine Comer and Molly Walter have spent the past year building themselves a strong foundation (and a beautiful studio) for their collaborative business, Mudhoneyz Studio. This campaign represents the final phase of building their new space: the push to fund the building of their kiln. 

Even if you can’t donate, it is well worth checking out their campaign and getting to know these three. They are simply overflowing with the positive spirit that makes potters such a beautiful, community oriented bunch. If you can donate, there are some beautiful rewards for your gift.

So, go ahead and watch the video above until the very end. You won’t regret it!

Click here to see their full campaign
(... and feel free to share it!)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Clay Club Wednesday night at Linda McFarling's! (Have you signed up for a critique?!)

Clay Club is tomorrow (Wednesday) night!


When: 6 pm Wednesday, August 12

What: Critiques! You've been asking for them and here's your chance. Susan Feagin, Shane Mickey and Melisa Cadell will be leading the critiques. Five people have already signed up. This is a great opportunity and there's still room for a few more. If you want in, let me know.

Where: Linda McFarling's studio near Burnsville (see link below for directions)

We will have the usual potluck, so bring food to share. Clay Club is BYOB, so bring drink, too.

Directions and more details here:

See you Wednesday night!

The Dynamic Decal Workshop With Justin Rothshank

5-Day Workshop
August 31- September 4
Monday- Friday 9:30am- 4:30pm

Click Here To Register

Are you curious about integrating decals into your pottery or sculpture? This workshop will set you up for successfully transferring your own imagery onto ceramic surfaces. Topics will include image preparation, printing onto decal paper, transferring images onto greenware and glazed ware to create unique work. Justin will demonstrate layering, commercial decals, and firing temperatures for various types of decals. We will also examine low temperature salt fire as a means for finishing and creating additional layers of subtlety and depth.

Student Discounts Available!

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Glaze Workshops Coming up!!

Got several workshops coming up to end the in September in Georgia, one in October in Ann Arbor and one in October in Minneapolis.  See the website for more info.

Cone 6 Ceramic Glaze Testing Weekend
September 25-27, 2015
Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth Georgia

Cone 6 and 10 Ceramic Glaze Discussion/ Weekend
October 2-4, 2015
Potters Guild of Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Cone 6 Ceramic Glaze Testing Weekend   
October 9-11, 2015
Edina MN

Saturday, August 8, 2015

August Clay Club: how the critiques at Linda McFarling's will work

We've had a question about how the critiques at this month's Clay Club will work. Linda says she sees this a group activity, with the three folks that are critiquing really facilitating and getting things going.

This is an awesome opportunity and people are already signing up for the limited spaces! If you'd like your work critiqued, let me know.

Here again are the details about the critiques:

We will be having critiques. If you want your work to be critiqued, you need to let me know ahead of time. Here's what Linda says about how it will work:

I have 3 jurors who have volunteered to lead the critiques. Susan Feagin, Shane Mickey and Melisa Cadell. So excited about the lineup! I tried to get someone from handbuilding, throwing and sculpture as to have different perspectives.

This is a very informal, unique opportunity for folks to get feedback on their work. This could be finished work as well as work you may be working on but just want some input of ideas from others as how to improve or more forward. We will need to know how many folks will be bringing work so as not to go too long. I would think no more than 6-8.

So - if you want your work to be critiqued, send me an email ( and let me know.

(More details about August Clay Club here: