Here's the info from the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design:
Potter Daniel Johnston of Seagrove, NC will be presenting on his creative process from digging local clay to creating installations of large, wood-fired vessels.
This artist talk is held in conjunction with Johnston's 'Made in WNC' installation, '783-804', on view at CCCD October 1 – 29, 2015.
Johnston will create an immersive architectural environment using ceramic vessels to reverse the role of viewer and object.
About Daniel Johnston:
Daniel Johnston began his career as a potter apprenticing with Mark Hewitt in North Carolina. He has trained with Clive Bowen in England, as well as studied traditional large jar-making techniques in Sawein Silikom’s jar factory in Northeast Thailand. Daniel is now working with installation art that examines craft through the context of art. Daniel Johnston Pottery was established in 2003 in Seagrove, North Carolina. The pottery focuses on functional wood-fired tableware made from local materials as well as large-scale ceramic vessels.
Awesome news: Dig In! Yancey Community Garden held their 5th Annual Empty Bowls this past Friday and raised over $10,000. In Mitchell County, Shepherd's Staff Food Bank raised over $7,000 at their Empty Bowls event in August. Manna Food Bank in Asheville sold out both their lunch and dinner Empty Bowls events. I think there have been more Empty Bowls events in Western North Carolina - anybody have any more reports? And if you know of any more Empty Bowls events coming up, let us know.
Thanks to Lisa Blackburn and John Hartom for starting Empty Bowls 25 years ago - and to all the Clay Clubbers who contributed to these WNC events!
The Freer and Sackler Galleries have digitized a number of their publications. The publications can be read online or downloaded for free. (If I'd known this was coming, I might have held off on tracking down a copy of "Ceramics from the World of Islam.") The ceramics titles are listed below, but books in other subjects - Arts of the Islamic World, Chinese Art, Japanese Art, Korean Art, etc. - would probably be of interest to ceramic artists, too.
Fun And Functional Teapots With Laura Peery
Sculpting Animals In Clay With Mac McCusker
Low Fire Surface Embellishment With Cynthia Lee
Modeling The Female Form With Karen Powell
Give It A Whirl Pottery For Beginners With Heather Spontak
Ready, Set, Throw One Night Pottery Class With Kelsey Sickmeyer & Cayce Kolstad Click here for more information about upcoming classes or call 828-285-0210.
Available early October in Phil Mechanic Studios in the heart of Asheville's River Arts District. Light filled top floor studio with four big windows! 450sf, built in shelves. 220 wiring for a kiln. $500 includes all electricity including firings if you are a ceramic artist, propane heat (wall mounted vented heater) and internet. Large utility sink with hot and cold water just outside studio. Wonderful community of artists!
For years the Catawba Valley has been well known for its pottery. Names like Craig, Ellington, Abee and Reinhardt, just to name a few, ring through the hills, steeped in the age-old tradition of turning pots and stoking kilns. In the past, and even now, men have dominated the world of pottery in the Catawba Valley. All that is about to change.
There are several women potters in the Catawba Valley area who are turning at the wheel and handbuilding some masterful and beautiful pieces of all shapes, styles and colors. A few of the women go as far as to find, dig and use the clay that can be found in the Catawba Valley.
One day during a class at the CVCC Potters’ Workshop, three women began to talk and a master plan began to bloom! Why not hold our own show? Make it all about Women Potters of Catawba Valley!
Needless to say this idea has taken off and has now become reality! Eight local women potters, will be coming together to throw the 1st annual Women Potters of Catawba Valley Barn Sale. You can expect to find a wide array of pieces to encompass sculpted, wheel, hand built, functional, decorative and folk pottery. The potters participating in this show include Raine Middleton, Michelle Flowers, Sybil Scronce Hedspeth, Carla Brandel, Evelyn Arnold, Jennifer Sigmon, Briana Blackwelder and Debra Zimmerman.
The date is Saturday October 3rd 10 am to 4pm located at 4223 Rifle Range Rd Conover, NC. Come spend a lovely fall day shopping for local pottery while enjoying some apple cider and meeting some truly remarkable women. For any further information on this event you can like us on Facebook at: Women Potters of Catawba Valley or contact Carla at (507) 261-5476.
Here's the email the Mitchell County Historical Society sent out about the Bakersville Apple Butter Festival on October 24. I can't upload the application - contact the historical society or I can email it to anyone who wants.
Dear Members, Friends, and Potential Vendors..
We are in preparation to make our Annual Apple Butter Festival this year one of the best events of the season. We welcome any local craftspeople/artists to become vendors at the Festival, which will be held at the Creek Walk in Bakersville, beginning at 9 AM, on Saturday, October 24, 2015.
We have attached below the 2015 Vendor Application needed to register. There are no changes from last year: we are charging a fee of $15 for a 10' x 10' display area and $30 for (2) 10' x 10' areas. All proceeds, of course, go to the furtherance and operation of the Mitchell County Historical Society, and we do appreciate it.
If you have any questions or concerns, please call us at 828-688-4371 (Weds. through Sat., 10 to 4). If you cannot print out the application below, please come by our office in the Historic Courthouse at 11 No. Main Street in Bakersville, NC. We will have copies available.
Thank you, Terry Gess, for hosting a terrific Clay Club at Haywood Community College! And thanks to Jeff Chown, North American representative for Netherlands-based Blaauw Kilns. Jeff gave a presentation titled, "The Tao of Blaauw: A High Temperature Philosophy, From About Ten Feet Under the Sea." He talked about an industry approach to kiln-firing that looks for ways to fire efficiently - environmentally efficient, and cost and time efficient, too. Jeff peppered his talk with pop quizes - maybe because we were meeting at a community college?
Jeff is in Western North Carolina to install a computer-controlled gas kiln at Alex Matisse's East Fork Pottery in Madison County, and there's a photo of Jeff showing a slide of the kiln being installed below. (It's the second photo of Jeff during the presentation. The first shows Jeff thinking aloud about all the money wasted in traditional kiln firings - you may have to click on the photo to enlarge it to see that.)
Saturday, October 3rd and Sunday, October 4th, 2015
9:30am – 4:00pm each day
In this demonstration workshop participants will learn how to create interesting forms using a technique of both single-pointed and double-pointed darting methods on both wheel-thrown and handbuilt forms. Finishing these forms will be covered with a variety of decorating techniques on green ware and bisque ware.
Jennifer Allen works with porcelain and is inspired by forms associated with the holiday table. She spent years as a novice seamstress and avid fabric collector and is continually influenced by various textile textures and prints. Jennifer’s goal is to fill people’s lives with work that engages the home, hand and spirit.
Jennifer Allen received her BFA from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2002, and an MFA from Indiana University in 2006. In addition to her formal education, she worked full time as a studio assistant for Bliss Pottery (1998-2002) in Anchorage. Jennifer also studied ceramics at Rochester Institute of Technology’s School for American Crafts as a post-baccalaureate student.
I need 125-150 straight brick (today or tomorrow if possible) ran out in the middle of kiln rebuild, and I have some extra arch brick. Will trade/buy/sell.
Need 2300 9" straights, 3" series. Prefer new, but used with minimal damage will work. Will buy or trade for arch brick listed below
Have 25 (maybe more) new #1 arch brick 2300 3" - 2 3/4" x 9" $3.50 brick, or trade for the straights (will also consider other trades)
clay or firing for use of pugmill
I have lots and lots of ^6 clay to recycle! I'm looking for someone with a pugmill who would like to trade use of it (your place or mine) for clay or firing in my 60 cubic foot gas reduction car kiln in West Asheville
What: 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.
Where: the new Creative Arts Building at Haywood Community College.
We'll have the usual potluck, so bring food to share. Haywood Community College is an alcohol-free zone, so bring your own beverage, but don't bring anything alcoholic.
There was a rumor going around that the Spruce Pine Town Council decreased their funding to the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) because TRAC rented a room to the Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance. We tried to find out if the rumor was true. Here's the email we sent out about what we learned.
Dear GSA friends and supporters,
Maybe you've heard the rumor that the Spruce Pine Town Council decreased their funding to the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) to punish TRAC for renting space to the Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) to show the movie PRIDE. Maybe you've also heard that the town council did this at the request of the editor or publisher of the Blue Ridge Christian News. We heard this rumor and it concerned us very much. We tried to find out if it was true. We were not able to find out for certain, but we did learn some interesting things along the way.
At a special meeting on June 17, the Spruce Pine Town Council voted 3-1 (one member, Roger Burleson, was absent) to reduce TRAC's funding from $6,000 to $3,500 in order to provide an additional $2,500 in funding to the Spruce Pine Library.
On June 27, the Mitchell County GSA showed the movie PRIDE at TRAC. PRIDE is an award-winning movie based on the true story of a group of London LGBT activists who raised money to support striking Welsh miners in the 1980s. More than 50 people came to see the movie. It was the day after the Supreme Court ruled that marriage equality was the law of the land and the mood was joyful. It was a wonderful evening.
In the July 1 edition of the Mitchell News-Journal, reporter Andrew Mundhenk reported on the special budget meeting, including the reduction to TRAC's funding. TRAC's renting the space to the GSA was not mentioned in the article and Mr. Mundhenk said later that it was not mentioned during the town council meeting.
On July 15, the Mitchell News-Journal ran a front page story on the Spruce Pine Town Council reducing TRAC's funding. This edition also included an editorial titled, "Spruce Pine should restore TRAC funds." There was no mention of TRAC renting the space to the GSA in the article or the editorial. The paper also included a poll question: "Should the Town of Spruce Pine restore the money cut from TRAC?" TRAC asked its supporters to vote YES in this unscientific poll via email and several social media posts. TRAC did not mention the GSA in any of these requests. The final vote in the Mitchell News-Journal poll was: YES 861 votes and NO 2,011 votes for a total of 2,872 votes. (If you read the Mitchell News-Journal regularly, you know that most polls get far fewer responses. The poll the week before had a total of 19 votes and the poll the week after had a total of 109 votes.)
In the July 22 edition of the Mitchell News-Journal, there were several letters to the editor about the town council reducing TRAC's funding. One mentioned the GSA. Sally Morgan Guerard wrote, "The apparent reason (to cut funding), which has not been reported publicly, is that the town council determined it did not approve of the Arts Council renting its space to the Gay-Straight Alliance." As far as we know, this has been the only public mention of the rumor.
We began to hear that a lot of people believed this rumor and we determined to find out if it was true.
We spoke with Sally Morgan Guerard and other TRAC supporters. We also spoke with TRAC Executive Director Denise Cook and two TRAC board members. When we asked where people had heard this rumor, we learned that they had heard it from someone affiliated with TRAC, or they had heard it from someone else who had heard it from someone affiliated with TRAC. One board member had heard that the issue was raised during the town council meeting. The second board member had heard about it from the first board member. Several people said they had heard it from Denise Cook or from someone who had heard it from Denise Cook. When we asked Denise Cook where she had heard the rumor, she said everything she knew was second- or third-hand and she did not have any firsthand knowledge about whether it was true. Several people said they had heard that the editor or publisher of the Blue Ridge Christian News had complained to members of the town council about the movie being shown at TRAC and that was why TRAC's funding was reduced.
We obtained a copy of the June 17 town council minutes and saw that there was no mention of the GSA. We spoke with Town Council Member Darla Harding and and Spruce Pine Town Manager Richard Canipe and were still not able to confirm the rumor.
We were really starting to get frustrated. We wanted to defend TRAC and the GSA if this rumor was true, but no one - including TRAC board members and staff - was saying anything publicly.
We submitted a public records request to the Spruce Pine Town Clerk. We requested:
"access to and a copy of all public records, including electronic communications, made or received by members of the Spruce Pine Town Council, Spruce Pine Mayor, and Spruce Pine Town Manager between May 20, 2015 and July 20, 2015 that pertain to or mention any of the following: Toe River Arts Council (TRAC); Arts Resource Center (ARC); Arts Council; Spruce Pine Library; Avery-Mitchell-Yancey (AMY) Regional Libraries; Spruce Pine Main Street (SPMS); Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance (Mitchell County GSA); and/or the showing of "Pride" the movie (shown by the Mitchell County GSA at TRAC in June).”
Less than two weeks later we received word that our records were ready. The records included documents from Town Manager Richard Canipe, Mayor Rocky Buchanan, and Town Council Member Darla Harding. There were no documents from the remaining three council members. Finally we learned that there was at least a kernel of truth in the rumor.
In its monthly email newsletter sent on June 1, 2015, Spruce Pine Main Street included an announcement about our free showing of the movie PRIDE in downtown Spruce Pine. Apparently, Clint Pollard, editor of the Blue Ridge Christian News, saw this and objected. Mr. Pollard forwarded the Spruce Pine Main Street newsletter to the mayor and wrote:
Please see the email (below) from Spruce Pine Main Street with their June "Calendar of Events."
I personally and spiritually object to SPMS publicizing the showing of the movie "Pride" on behalf of the Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance. Since when did our town decide to advocate/promote the point of view of a sexually oriented organization?
I hasten to add that this is my opinion - not an attempt to speak on anyone else's behalf. But I am troubled that this movie is being publicized by a taxpayer funded entity; and being shown at a Mitchell County United Way funded agency.
If the Gay Straight Alliance wants to show their movie, it's their Constitutional right to do so...so they should do it on their own without the support of Spruce Pine Main Street! It is contrary to the mission of SPMS to promote a film about gay sex!
Please let me know if you wish to discuss.
Committed to spreading "Good News",
Clint E. Pollard
Blue Ridge Christian News
261 Oak Avenue
Spruce Pine, NC 28777
Mayor Buchanan responded, "I could not agree more. While I was unaware of this until you brought it to my attention, we will find out more about this."
Mayor Buchanan copied several people on his response, including Town Manager Canipe and the three town council members who did not respond to our public records request. Mr. Pollard also forwarded his email to Town Council Member Darla Harding who provided a copy of it in response to our public records request.
Mr. Pollard also sent an email to the Executive Director of Spruce Pine Main Street. She forwarded it to the Spruce Pine Town Manager, who provided it in response to our public records request. This email is similar to the one Mr. Pollard sent to the mayor, but not identical. There is no mention of the movie being "a film about gay sex" in this email.
Attempt to Get More Records
We followed up directly with the three remaining members of the town council since we knew that at a minimum they had received a copy of Mayor Buchanan's reply to Clint Pollard (which included Mr. Pollard's original email).
One thing that stood out to us is that it appears that all of the town council members use personal email accounts to conduct public business. In addition, some council members said they had deleted emails pertaining to public business even though North Carolina law requires these emails to be preserved even when they are sent or received on personal email accounts.
Roger Burleson told the town clerk to tell us that he shares an email address with his wife that he rarely uses, and that he had probably received the email and had probably deleted it.
John Boone said in an email, "[t]he only thing I has (sic) was an email from Clint Pollard addressed to me. I no longer have that on my email. I am sure he sent it to all of us. I can get a copy if anyone kept a copy. I did not keep a copy or respond to his email. I do not have anything on my phone in text or email that fit your request. Other than the one Mr pollard sent to me."
Larry McKinney did not respond until we sent him a third request. He forwarded his copy of Mayor Buchanan's email and he also sent a document to the town clerk to forward to us. This document appears to be a poorly retyped version of an email he received from former Regional Library Director Dr. Daniel Barron. We don’t know why he provided this rather than a copy of the original email. From documents provided by other people we could see that Mr. McKinney was also copied on other emails that matched our public records request. We don’t know why he didn't provide copies of those emails. We followed up again with Mr. McKinney, but have not heard back from him.
On August 10, TRAC Board Member Starli McDowell, TRAC Executive Director Denise Cook, and former TRAC Executive Director Susan Larson addressed the Spruce Pine Town Council during their regular meeting. Denise Cook asked that the council restore the full $6,000 of funding. No motion was introduced and no vote was taken during that meeting.
Our Thoughts About All This
After all this we still don't know if this rumor is true and we still have some serious concerns.
1. We could find no firsthand sources to confirm the rumor. It was not mentioned in any of the Mitchell News-Journal coverage. It was not mentioned in TRAC’s email and social media requests to vote YES in the Mitchell News-Journal poll. No one affiliated with TRAC mentioned it when they addressed the town council and asked that the funding be restored.
2. TRAC Executive Director Denise Cook said to us that she had been advised (by board members whose names she did not share) to “take the high road" and not divide the community over this issue. We wish she, and others speaking for TRAC, had addressed this issue publicly. Had they done so, and had we been able to verify the truth of the rumor (something that we might have been able to do if it had been acknowledged publicly), we would have stood up to support them.
3. If it's true that the editor of the Blue Ridge Christian News has this kind of power over our local elected officials, that is a big concern. But even if it's not true, many people believed that it could be true and acted on that belief. Many local nonprofits, including TRAC, regularly submit news and other information to Mr. Pollard to be published in the Blue Ridge Christian News. We're pretty certain that Mr. Pollard would not share any Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance news in his publication. We encourage local nonprofits to reconsider the value of publicity in the Blue Ridge Christian News given the discriminatory and divisive views promoted by its editor.
Allison Bovée and Amy Waller
Co-founders, Mitchell County Gay Straight Alliance
New pottery space for rent in Weaverville on Reems Creek Road. 1700 square feet total for either 4 or 5 potters total. We have a dedicated kiln area for electric kilns (bring your own kiln, although other arrangements may be possible), shared slab roller and extruder, and a small retail area. It is also bring your own tables, wheels, shelves, and so forth. We are on a busy road in Weaverville, with plenty of parking available. Contact Rachel Smith at email@example.com if you are interested and would like to see what is being developed. Space is large enough for either a low production professional potter, or an advanced hobbyist who needs more space than they currently have. Rental area is available October 1st, although earlier move in may be possible.
September Clay Club will take place Wednesday, September 16, at 6 pm at the new Creative Arts Building at Haywood Community College. Thanks to Terry Gess for hosting us!
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.
We'll have the usual potluck, so bring food to share. Haywood Community College is an alcohol-free zone, so bring your own beverage, but don't bring anything alcoholic.
From Asheville, NC (East of Campus):
Take I-40 West.
Take exit 27 (Highway 19-23)
Take exit 107 (East Jones Cove Road)
Follow signs to Haywood Community College
We'll be meeting in the Creative Arts Building; see the campus map below for the location. You will see the kilns in front of you as you come up the hill on campus -- pull in on right by kilns to unload into clay studio. Note closest parking is the lot on the left.
The Mudhoneyz potters located Weaverville, NC are in the final 24 hours of their campaign to help fund their new kiln! They are currently the MOST funded pottery kickstarter campaign. Since my last post they have posted stretch goals and excellent new rewards. Help them reach all of their goals by adding your name to the donors list before 4pm tomorrow!
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 https://www.facebook.com/diginpots
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 http://www.sodachicks.com
Clay Club meets at artist studios and other locations throughout Western North Carolina, usually on the second Wednesday of the month. All potters and ceramic artists are welcome! Look for details about the meetings here on the blog or contact Amy Waller at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.