Friday, November 16, 2018

Annual Holiday Art & Ceramics Sale at UNC Asheville on Saturday

Annual Holiday Art & Ceramics Sale
November 16 and 17, 2018
Friday, 4-7 pm and Saturday, 10 am - 2 pm
S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, Owen Hall
University of North Carolina Asheville

(Apologies for not posting this earlier - just saw this flyer today at Highwater.)

From the UNCA website:

A wide variety of functional and decorative pottery, drawings, prints, paintings, photography, glass, and sculpture crafted by UNC Asheville students will be on sale with pieces beginning at $5 on November 16 and 17, 2018. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Department of Art and Art History. The sale is open to the public. The 2018 Holiday Art Sale will be in S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, located on the ground floor of Owen Hall. Visit the sale between 4:00-7:00 p.m. on Friday and between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday. Open to the Public with No admission charge.


East Fork Pottery now open in Biltmore Village

The Mountain Xpress has an update on East Fork Pottery's new Biltmore Village factory:

East Fork, the pottery studio whose simple plates and bowls are used by several Asheville restaurants, has opened a new factory in Biltmore Village that could help it increase production by 800 percent by 2020.

Among local restaurants that use East Fork’s dinnerware are Curate, Cucina 24, Gan Shan Station, Table, The Montford Rooftop bar and Sovereign Remedies.

East Fork has moved into the defunct Kenny Pipe building at 531 Short McDowell St. The 14,500-square-foot space houses all of East Fork’s manufacturing and shipping operations, as well as support services and areas that will be used for community events. The revitalized space even includes a commercial kitchen in which employees sometimes cook the communal lunch the whole team shares every day around a 26-foot-long table. “Sharing a meal together around one table is something that felt very important to us when designing this new space,” brand manager Erin Hawley says.

Read the full article here:

Marshall Handmade Market this weekend

Marshall Handmade Market
November 17th and 18th
10 am - 5 pm
Marshall High Studios
Marshall, North Carolina

From the market website:

Join us for our tenth annual Handmade Market!

The Marshall Handmade Market will be held the weekend before Thanksgiving at Marshall High Studios in Marshall, NC, from 10am to 5pm. The studios are housed in a 1920's two story brick high school, which is nestled on a little island in the French Broad River. On show day the spacious, sunny auditorium is filled with some of the best makers in the region, and the resident artists open the doors of their classrooms-turned-studios to visitors. We'll have delicious Thai food from the Bun Intended food truck,sweet and savory pastries from OWL Bakery, a musician or two, and plenty of seating on the generous back deck. Our idyllic island setting, the charming historic high school and fantastic artists all combine to make the Marshall Handmade Market a favorite among holiday markets for locals and visitors.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Recap: November Clay Club at David on the Corner in Bakersville

Thanks to David Westmeier and his studio partner Sage Morgan for hosting Clay Club! It was great to get to see David's studio and gallery space, David on the Corner, in downtown Bakersville.

David did several demos. The first was the throwing of a tall piece that he said was inspired by an equisetum. He explained that an equisetum or horsetail fern is a living fossil and that the piece represented its struggle. He also showed us a mushroom cluster and a sconce decorated with mushrooms. He said he was inspired by his Sage's work (more on that below) and a mushroom hunting trip at Penland. His last demo was throwing a large platter. Check out the ice cube bins he uses for holding water when throwing: he stacks two together for sturdiness, and places them on both sides of the wheel so he has easier access to the water. Genius idea!

Sage showed us her work and talked through her process. Her favorite subjects are mushrooms and slugs, as is immediately apparent from her work. She talked about how she resisted sketching in the past but more recently has become a convert - and how she thinks that has made her work better. She shared her sketchbook which was full of really superb sketches. She showed us the DiamondCore tools that she uses to sketch her designs on her pieces and to carve them. Sage's studio name is Grumpy Dwarf Pottery - see more of her work at and

David and Sage will be participating in the Toe River Studio Tour, November 30th - December 2nd. That would be a great time to visit the studio and gallery and see all of their work.

December Clay Club will be at High Country Ceramic Arts in Burnsville on December 12th. I'll share more details closer to the date.

Thanks again to David and Sage for a terrific clay club - and to everyone who came out despite the unpleasant weather last night!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Toe River Arts Council at center of controversy over performance at Mitchell High School

The Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) is at the center of a controversy over the performance of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) at Mitchell High School. The current issue of the Mitchell News-Journal has a great deal of coverage of the story, including a front page story which starts:

A group of nearly 40 pastors and others gathered Friday, Nov. 9, at the Mitchell County Schools Central Office to pray for the students, teachers and parents in Mitchell County after a play performed Thursday, Nov. 8, at Mitchell High School caused controversy.

The play was “The Complete Works of Shakespeare, Abridged,” which parodies the plays of William Shakespeare, and was sponsored by the Toe River Arts Council and performed by members of the Parkway Playhouse. The controversy stems from the performance’s coarse language, references to drinking, murder, suicide and the fact two male characters engaged in a “stage kiss.”

Read the full story here:

It's not entirely clear what happened during the performance. Statements from the Toe River Arts Council Executive Director Nealy Andrews and Board Chair Dan Barron refer to an “uncomfortable atmosphere" and “inappropriate content.” Here are those statements from the TRAC facebook page (where they were posted without any additional comment or explanation):


A subsequent email from the Executive Director was equally vague:


According to one of the actors in the play, students shouted homophobic slurs at the actors. Read an account that includes this here:

From the article (Jeff Bachar is artistic director of Parkway Playhouse and Dwight Chiles is one of the actors):

Bachar, confirming Chiles’ account of the suspension of the performance, also pointed out, “What has gone largely unmentioned is the fact that there were derogatory remarks made by a few students towards the actors. These related to being transgender and homosexual.”

Chiles confirms that, writing, “There were a few homophobic slurs and things thrown at us on stage such as when I ran out in my pink tights I heard one student say ‘gay’ and few more said it again during the stage kiss in Romeo and Juliet. Another time is when my character said “trans-global political thriller,” an audience member yelled “tranny,” which doesn’t make sense. As far as I could see there was no action taken by the teachers to stop people from saying things.”

The Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance, a community gay straight alliance, issued a statement that was included in the Mitchell News-Journal (full disclosure: I'm one of the co-founders of the GSA). Here's how we shared it on facebook this morning:

Our response to the Mitchell High School controversy in the Mitchell News-Journal this morning. Whatever the halting of the play was about, the people praying and petitioning have managed to make homophobia the topic after the fact. We call on Toe River Arts and Mitchell County Schools to make it clear that if there had been LGBTQ people in the play that in itself would not be considered inappropriate content. The gay youth in this county need to hear this from responsible adults.


There is a petition circulating that reads as follows (an image of the petition is included in the Arts Integrity story):

We, the undersigned, are concerned citizens who urge our leaders to act now to ban Toe River Art (sic) Council or any other organization from all Mitchell County Public Schools that would promote Homosexuality, Incest, Suicide, or any other that would be contrary to life. We are showing by signing that we support you and stand with you to make this decision.

As a TRAC member, I'm concerned that, via their public statements so far, TRAC is appearing to support censorship in the arts; equating being gay with drinking, murder, suicide and incest - and throwing the Parkway Playhouse actors and director under the bus to boot. (To be fair, the Mitchell County Schools superintendent appeared to throw TRAC under the bus with his statement in the Mitchell News-Journal article above.)

This incident is unfortunately reminiscent of a 2015 controversy involving TRAC, the Mitchell County GSA and the Spruce Pine Town Council:

TRAC's handling of the 2015 controversy was disappointing to say the least. Here's hoping TRAC as an organization rises to the occasion this time.

Voorhees Family Art Show and Sale this weekend in Asheville

21st Annual Voorhees Family Art Show
November 17 and 18, 2018
Saturday 10-5, Sunday 10-4
89 Woodward Ave., Asheville, NC

The 21st Voorhees Family Art Show and Sale will be held on Saturday, November 17th, 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday, November 18th, 10 am to 4 pm at 89 Woodward Avenue in the Norwood Park area of North Asheville. This weekend art show and sale is free and open to the public.

This year’s annual event will feature new art work created by five Voorhees family members along with two guest artists. The event will again be featured in a family home in Norwood Park, this year at a cousin, Marien Bradsher's house. Meet this extraordinary family of artists known throughout North Carolina and the Southeast. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to MANNA FoodBank and to Kiva, helping others locally and globally.

The arts legacy began with Edwin Voorhees, (1919-1999) known for his NC coastal watercolor seascapes; and Mildred Voorhees and now their children and grandchildren. Mildred, (1924-2007) was best known for her colorful, patterned watercolors and rich oil still lifes and landscapes. Reproductions of Edwin and Mildred’s artwork will be available.

Edwin had long wanted to host a family art show as a way of gathering the clan and sharing the varied talents of those working in the arts. So, the first Voorhees Family Art Show was held in the family home in Morehead City in 1998. Edwin passed away the next year but the Voorhees Family Art Show continued in Morehead for several years. In later years the show was held in Asheville in addition to Morehead City. With Mildred’s move to Asheville the show followed with it being hosted in one of several Voorhees family homes in North Asheville. This year's show celebrates the 21st show for the Voorhees Family and continues the legacy begun by Edwin Voorhees back in 1998.

Three of Edwin and Mildred’s six children plus two daughters-in-law will be showing their work at this event: Susan Voorhees, oil and pastel paintings; Jane Voorhees, watercolors, pastels, prints, cards and calendars; David Voorhees, wood-fired stoneware and porcelain pottery; David’s wife, Molly Sharp Voorhees, sterling silver jewelry, some incorporating natural beach stones; and Amy Voorhees, oil paintings. Also exhibiting are guest artists Chad Alice Hagen, felted art and handmade books and Cheryl Stippich, stained glass.

For more information and map visit

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Craft vendors wanted for Holiday Bazaar at Lees McRae College in Banner Elk, NC

Now Opportunity School for Women at Lees McRae College
Banner Elk, North Carolina
Annual Holiday Bazaar
Saturday, December 8th, 2018
10 am to 4 pm

An opportunity to market your crafts and food items at the NOSW Market Place Event.

Cost is $20.00 per table provided with coverings and chairs, if interested call the NOSW office at 828-898-8905

Location: Cannon Student Center at LMC
Date: Saturday, December 8th, 2018
Time: 10:00 am – 4:00 pm

Monday, November 12, 2018

Clay Club this Wednesday!

November Clay Club will be at David on the Corner in Bakersville from 6-8 pm this Wednesday, November 14th. Thanks again to David Westmeier for hosting us!

Directions and details here:

Carpooling: Martin Stankus is interested in carpooling from Burnsville. See the details in the comments on the blog post. If you're interested in carpooling with Martin, or from anywhere else, leave a comment on that same blog post or on this facebook post. You can also let me know and I will put folks in touch.

See you Wednesday!

Pug mill and kilns for sale (plus one free kiln) in Cleveland, South Carolina

Don Lewis has the following available:

Walker pug mill for sale. Asking $750 for it.

Also 2 electric kilns. A Cress model B-27H, with 8 half-shelves, and an old JenKen kiln. $200 for both. The Cress may need elements.

I also have an old Alpine gas-fired test kiln, still in good working order, which is free to anyone.

Contact Don at 864-979-7827 or

Saturday, November 10, 2018

L&L Kiln, shelves, and glaze chemicals for sale - Asheville area

For Sale :  24"  x 27" (inside dimension) Econo Kiln J 230 made by L&L Manufacturing.

Cone 10, manual with Dawson kiln sitter, and separate vent hood and counterweight. Older but good condition, very solid, base and bricks

With 6 half shelves.  Good condition.  $400. Asheville area. 

Contact: Heather Hietala 828 - 782 - 8307

Thursday, November 8, 2018

November Clay Club preview!

David Westmeier shared this video - he said “it generated a lot of interest including a request that I make a similar form on Wednesday.” Check it out and come to Clay Club at David’s studio and gallery, David on the Corner in Bakersville, next Wednesday!

Clay: exhibit of North Carolina potters in Concord, NC

Cabarrus Arts Council
Concord, North Carolina
November 8, 2018 – January 26, 2019

A number of Western North Carolina potters are included in the current Cabarrus Arts Council exhibit Clay, a show and sale of 28 North Carolina potters.

More info:

Monday, November 5, 2018

November Clay Club at David on the Corner

November Clay Club will be at David on the Corner in Bakersville from 6-8 pm on Wednesday, November 14th. Thanks to David Westmeier for hosting us!

The program will include demos by David and Sage Morgan. David will demonstrate a pinch pot mushroom forest and throwing and trimming a large platter - here are a couple photos he shared as a preview:

Sage will demonstrate detailed mushroom carvings on bowls - here’s a sample of Sage's work from her Instagram page, @grumpydwarfpottery:

David is planning on making meatless chili. We’ll have our usual potluck to go along with that, so bring food to share. Clay Club is BYOB, so bring drink, too.

David on the Corner is located at 7 North Mitchell Avenue in Bakersville. Google maps will get you there:

Carpooling: if you’re interested in carpooling, let me know and I will put folks in touch. You can also leave a comment here on this blog post or on this facebook post.

See you next Wednesday!

Free workshops in Asheville: How to Maximize Your Business Presence on Google

One thing that caught my attention about these workshops is that they will help you verify your Google business account without a postcard or phone call (as someone with a PO Box, this was something I definitely could have used some help with).

Here are the details from the Explore Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau website:

LIVE WORKSHOPS: How to Maximize Your Business Presence on Google (Using Free Online Tools)—This event in our two-part education initiative will be held Tuesday, November 13 in the Explore Asheville Boardroom at 27 College Place, and it will be presented at two times – 8:30 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. At this in-person workshop, representatives from Miles Partnership will provide tactical training and how-to guide take-aways for using Google My Business. Topics covered will include:

• Claiming and managing your account
• Obtaining and responding to reviews
• Tips to improve your photography
• Adding 360 images & video
• Removing photos from your listing
• Leveraging Local Guides
• Getting the most from Posts
• Unique opportunities by business type
• How-to guide take-away documents

During this event we will also be providing on-site instant verification of Google My Business accounts. If your business isn’t verified, or you’ve lost access to your business listing, come to the workshop and we can help you get verified instantly, without a postcard or a phone call. You’ll need to bring a one or more of the following documents: utility bill(s), tax letter(s) or business registration certificate(s) to participate in instant verification. The documents must show the business name, address, and category (if possible). You will also need the login to the Google account for your business. If you do not have an account, visit


Friday, November 2, 2018

Carolina Pottery Festival this Saturday in Shelby, NC

Carolina Pottery Festival
Saturday, November 3rd
10 am to 4 pm
Legrand Center
1800 E. Marion St.
Shelby, North Carolina

The Carolina Pottery Festival only happens once every 365 days! This year's Festival will feature more than 100 local and regional potters, showing and selling their work. You can expect to see traditional, contemporary, functional, decorative and sculptural work--something for everyone! Meet the potters who create the work, find out the story behind the pottery strikes your fancy and enjoy this indoor event at the Legrand Center.

Admission is $5.00 for adults ( ages 14 and younger are Free) and a portion of the proceeds benefits the Cleveland County Arts Council. There is free parking adjacent to the Festival location.

Center for Craft in Asheville awarded $975,000

The Center for Craft was awarded $975,000 by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (TDA). Here are the details about the grant:

Center for Craft, Creativity & Design – National Craft Innovation Hub

The National Craft Innovation Hub is an expansion of the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design’s historic 1912 structure, located at 67 Broadway Street. The new space will create an additional 7,000 square feet that will expand the first-floor gallery as well as add an auxiliary gallery, a lecture space, classrooms and workshops, a co-working space and lounge area. Also included is a new artist-designed parklet at the entry. This project will enhance Asheville’s downtown by developing a cultural gateway, connecting cultural assets along the Broadway-Pack Square-Biltmore corridor.

Tourism Product Development Fund Grant Funding: $975.000


In related news, the Buncombe County TDA plans to “pause its annual hotel tax-funded grant program next year as part of an effort to better address the area's infrastructure needs.” Read the full Asheville Citizen-Times article about this plan here:

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Potters of the Blue Ridge Annual Mug Show

Potters of the Blue Ridge Annual Mug Show
November 2 - December 31
Doe Ridge Pottery (585 W King St Ste D)
Boone, North Carolina

The Potters of the Blue Ridge are having a mug show at Doe Ridge Pottery in Boone from November 2nd through December 31st. The show will feature handmade ceramic mugs from a host of local artists.

Shop Local! Mugs will be available for sale.

Facebook event page here:

Wine & Whiskers this Saturday in Spruce Pine

Wine & Whiskers 2018
Saturday, November 3, 2018
2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
The Pizza Shop & Dry County Brewing Co
585 Oak Ave Spruce Pine, NC

From the Mitchell County Animal Rescue website:

Please join us for Wine & Whiskers, presented by Speckled Dog Pottery, hosted by Mitchell County Animal Rescue. Silent Art Auction to support MCAR. $20 Admission includes two glasses of wine, appetizers and desserts, music, socializing, and the chance to bid on gorgeous pieces by local artists and craftspeople.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Opening with Will Dickert

In Tandem Gallery presents 
the work of ceramicist Will Dickert

Will Dickert will be at the Gallery
 for the opening of his Exhibition
Saturday, November 3rd, 4-7pm
We hope you can be there

The exhibit features stoneware and porcelain finished with slips, shino and celadon glazes and ranging in form from functional pots and wares to sculptural pieces.
“This show is about wood firing and form,” says In Tandem co-owner Andy Palmer. “Will has a strong body of work with a combination of highly sculptural and functional qualities.”
Using a limited pallet, Dickert allows ashes and flame to paint his pieces in a natural and organic way. The ashes that fall onto his work during firing eventually melt to create a directional glaze that ranges in glossiness depending on proximity to the firebox. This ash creates rivulets and drips that run and collect on edges and lips, highlighting the forms.
Dickert pays strong attention to shape, resulting in work with a precise, tight geometric feel that counterbalances the soft, spontaneous effects of wood firing. “The contrast between these two things is what I think makes Will's work really stand out,” says Palmer. “There's a rugged sensibility attached to the highly refined shaping of his pieces.” 

View the Exhibition Online 

In Tandem Gallery  
20 N. Mitchell Ave • Bakersville, NC, 28705
Phone: (828) 688 6428 • •

Weaverville Art Safari this weekend

Weaverville Art Safari
Fall Studio Tour
Sat – Sun | November 3-4, 10 – 5
Preview Party: Friday, November 2, 6 – 8pm

From the Weaverville Art Safari website:

The Weaverville Art Safari is one of the original studio tours in the Asheville Area. It is a self guided free event that offers a unique look at the artist’s work in their working environment, featuring artists who specialize in handmade pottery, glass, photography, sculpture, jewelry, furniture, painting, drawing, fiber art, wood art and more.

The Preview Party provides an opportunity to see all of the artists work together the Friday evening before the tour. There is a silent auction and raffle/door prizes of artists work as well as beer, wine and snacks.

Save the date for the Potters’ Holiday Pop-up on December 8th in Asheville

Potters’ Holiday Pop-up
Saturday, December 8th
Club Eleven
11 Grove Street
Asheville, North Carolina

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Free online access to pottery/ceramics magazines, books and more through your local library

ICYMI, you can read Ceramics Monthly, Pottery Making Illustrated and Studio Potter articles online with your library card. NC LIVE is a service available through North Carolina libraries that provides access to magazines, journals and books. You just need your library card number and possibly a password (available from your library).

(The magazines and books are different from the ones available through RBdigital (formerly Zinio for Libraries) and Overdrive, two other services that might be available through your local library and are also pretty awesome.)

The following magazines are available through NC LIVE:

Ceramics Monthly (09/2011 to present)

Pottery Making Illustrated (07/2000 to present)

Studio Potter (01/2016 to present)

And here are a few books I’ve seen recently on NC LIVE:

The art of Toshiko Takaezu: in the language of silence by Peter Held

Ceramics by Philip Rawson

A chosen path: the ceramic art of Karen Karnes by Mark Shapiro

The Pilgrim Art: Cultures of Porcelain in World History by Robert Finlay

Visit NC LIVE here:

Individual local libraries offer some other pretty cool resources, too. The Buncombe County Public Library provides free access to which normally costs $24.99/month. offers classes on all kinds of topics that might be of interest to artists and entrepreneurs (website design, photography, selling on ETSY, etc.). More info about Buncombe County Public library electronic resources here:

What other services are available through the North Carolina libraries that should we know about? Does your local library offer any cool resources?

Monday, October 29, 2018

Save the date: Appalachian Potters Market on December 1st

32nd Annual Appalachian Potters Market
Marion, North Carolina
Saturday, December 1st
10 am - 4 pm

From the Facebook event page:

Are you a pottery nerd? Collector? Newbie? Looking for unique and beautiful Christmas gifts? Or maybe you are ready and willing to check out the wide variety of work within a regional heritage art form you've never considered before! Treat yourself...Appalachian Potters Market is the place to be :) Spend the first weekend in December with us and see what it is all about. We host 60+ Regional North Carolina Potters every year and always find the best functional, decorative, and even silly pieces of pottery and ceramics art to enjoy or gift to friends and loved ones!

More info:

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Beaverdam Studio Tour this weekend

Beaverdam Studio Tour
North Asheville
Saturday October 27th 10am - 5pm
Sunday October 28th noon - 5pm

Visit 30 artist's studios in a self-guided tour in North Asheville on and off Beaverdam Road.

From the Beaverdam Studio Tour Instagram page:

Join us for a self-guided tour of artists’ studios in North Asheville. We are 30 artists living and working in beautiful Beaverdam Valley, showcasing ceramics, painting, jewelry, sculpture, glass, and textile art. We invite you to meet us and purchase our artwork. All studios are off Beaverdam Road, reached from Merrimon Avenue. Tour maps are available online and in our brochure.