Thursday, March 12, 2020

Recap: March Clay Club at Haywood Community College

Thanks to Emily Reason and everyone at Haywood Community College for hosting Clay Club! The big draw was the exhibit HCC Clay in Retrospect, an exhibition featuring the work of 20 ceramic artists from HCC’s 46 years of clay programming. Special thanks to Duffy Baum, member of the very first class of the Professional Crafts program (in Wood), for proposing this Clay Club.

HCC Clay program alumni who came last night included Laurey-Faye Dean, Julia Mann and Trish Salmon. In addition to these alums, Gary Clontz, founder of the HCC clay program, also came. Emily, Gary, Julia, Laurey-Faye and Trish all have work in the exhibit, which I highly recommend going to see in person. The quality and variety of work from this one institution in Western North Carolina is truly impressive.

Emily gave us a tour of the Professional Crafts building, including the ceramics studio. (In the glaze room, Gary told us that the A.R.T. Studio Clay Company labels on the bins and jars date from early in his time – they've held up really well!) The HCC Professional Crafts program is a full-time, two-year program. Ceramics students can focus on the type of work (e.g., production, art, etc.) that they want to. The program includes extensive studio time and classes in craft history, design, business issues and more. This is really a fantastic program and very reasonably priced: in-state tuition is estimated at $2,579 per year (!), not including program fees and materials. Learn more about the Professional Crafts Program here:

There are a couple of events at Haywood planned for April 22nd:

Professional Craft Artist Summit – this is a free program, though registration is requested. More info and registration here:


Closing reception for HCC Clay in Retrospect that same day. The public is invited to a closing reception from 4-6 pm on Wednesday April 22nd, with a Gallery Talk beginning at 4:30.

(Of course these events may be affected by the spread of the coronavirus/COVID-19. HCC has a Coronavirus Information Page which includes updates on the impact of COVID-19 on campus events here:

April Clay Club is planned for Saturday, April 25th at 10 am (note the change from our usual day and time) at The Village Potters in Asheville. This is the Clay Club Coffee Club proposed by Sarah Wells Rolland. A number of demos are planned and I'm super excited about this! Like all of you, we'll be monitoring the coronavirus/COVID-19 situation – fingers crossed we'll be able to hold Clay Club on this date. We'll update as we get closer to the date.

Thanks again to Emily, Duffy, Gary and all of the current students and almuni of the HCC Clay program, and to everyone who came!

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