Clay Club aims to connect potters and ceramic artists of our community. We exchange ideas, share information and form friendships
Friday, March 4, 2016
Yancey Times Journal on Crimson Laurel Gallery and related ceramic businesses moving to Micaville
Here's the front-page story from this week's Yancey Times Journal about the opening of Appalachian Terroir, Crimson Laurel Gallery and Smoky Mountain Pottery in Micaville. (Click on the image to enlarge it.) The headline is, "More good news for local economy as Appalachian Terroir expands business with new facility at old Taylor Toggs building in Micaville."
The newspaper has also posted about the story on their Facebook page. The text is different from the print edition story and there are several more photos. Here's the Facebook post and a couple of the photos:
Appalachian Terroir combining three ceramic operations, creating jobs at Micaville’s former Taylor Toggs facility
Local officials gathered in Micaville on Monday for an economic development announcement by Appalachian Terroir founder and CEO Ben Philips that he is consolidating three operations in the former Taylor Toggs manufacturing facility that has been sitting empty for years.
Appalachian Terroir, designer and producer of original artisan dinnerware and housewares, is integrating its business with two sister companies, Smoky Mountain Pottery Studio and Crimson Laurel Gallery, at the location. The facility is currently being renovated for the combined operation and could open as early as April.
Philips said the company will launch five inspirational dinnerware collections designed by a roster of celebrated ceramics artists in addition to its own line of home decor and accessory products created by their in-house design team.
“We are inspired by the traditions of our region’s craft: quality materials, hand work, and expectations of excellence. We’re proud that the majority of the talent is locally sourced and all products are made within this community,” he said of the new venture.
According to Yancey’s Economic Development Commission director Wanda Proffitt, “Appalachian Terroir reflects innovation and creativity that further strengthens Yancey County’s economy. We are excited they have chosen our county for their new operations, and each new job has the potential to change someone’s life.”
Proffitt said EDC, the county and town worked with Philips on a different location but he determined that the Micaville site was larger and better suited for his operation. “We are so pleased that Ben is investing in our community to create a totally new business that taps into the arts and creative aspect of our county and diversifies our economy and work force.”
The word terroir, pronounced ter’wa, is of French origin and refers to a complete set of local conditions that influence the quality of the product being produced.
The company acquired Smoky Mountain Pottery Studio of Sevierville, Tennessee in December 2015. The ceramics manufacturer has been in business for nearly 30 years. Former Smoky Mountain Pottery Studio owner Dennis McAvoy joins Appalachian Terroir as operations manger at the new location in Micaville.
Philips previously acquired nationally-known Crimson Laurel Gallery, a retailer of fine studio ceramics located in Bakersville. This retail operation will continue at the Micaville facility showcasing a selection of curated works.
The company will initially hire 25 (plus or minus) workers and plans a $1.5 to $2 million initial investment and create 50 jobs, more or less, with an average salary of $45,000 annually, with pay varying according to position. Jobs currently advertised are for a ceramics mold maker, glazer, pack and ship coordinator, press operator, sales coordinator, slip casting tech, and green ware cleaner.
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.