Tuesday, March 31, 2009

All The Pots are Brown.. (rev.)

Karen Newgard just wrote me with her version of All the pots are brown.

All the pots are brown
And the glaze is grey
Sat down at my wheel
To throw some gritty clay

Put them in a wood kiln
And stoked them all day

Mingeisota dreamin....What would Shoji say

She is looking for the rest of the words. She thinks Shawn Ireland penned many of the lines.

John Britt

Cone 6 Reduction Workshop at Mud Fire in Atlanta

Just wanted to announce that I will be giving a glaze workshop at Mud Fire in Atlanta June 12 -14, 2009.

(This image is a carbon trap pot from the last workshop there which was made by Vantuil Varges.)

John Britt Workshop
Reduction Firing and Ceramic Glazes

John Britt will lead this overview of ceramic glazes and glaze materials, including a Cone 6 reduction firing. Participants will glaze their own bisque pots, review the results of the firing, and learn about glazing and firing through discussion and slides. Many reduction glazes will be available including shino, tenmoku, celadon, copper red, and others.

The workshop will cover characteristics of ceramic oxides and their sources, firing dynamics and principles, and practical application of this information to specific firing cycles. John will loosely follow the format of his new book "The Complete Guide to High-Fire Glazes." The workshop will also include a discussion of the differences between Cone 10 and Cone 6 reduction, and choosing between these firing options.

Class size 20.

For registration or more information contact Erik or Luba:


Monday, March 30, 2009

Translated into Turkish

Just got a copy of a Turkish book that one of my articles was published in. Unfortuantly, I cannot read it because it was translated into Turkish. It is called Anadolu Sanat from the University of Anadolu, Turkey.

Thanks Burcu Ozturk Karabey,

John Britt

Katie Wilson

Katie Wilson sends her greetings from up north.

She sent these nice photo of a vulture and a coyote to share with us.

We miss you Katie,

John Britt


Crazy Green Studios, (aka Lori Theriault) in West Asheville, is hosting a hands-on Empty Bowls event on Saturday, April 11.

We'll have bowls to decorate and bowls to buy, and all Clay Clubbers are welcome to come down to the event (more details at www.crazygreenstudios.com/Empty_Bowls.htm).

Even better, if you'd like to just donate a bisque fired bowl for the decorating, all finished bowls will be fired to cone 7/ox and used in the annual Empty Bowls event in October. And if you'd like to donate some of your lovely pottery to sell at the event, all proceeds will go to MANNA FoodBank.

All donations are welcome at my studio in West Asheville up to the day of the event, and if it's easier, I'll be in Burnsville, picking up Empty Bowls info from John Hartom this week on Wednesday.

I'll probably be there sometime between 10-12, and may stay to throw some bowls for the stock if I have time. Anyone who'd like to drop stuff at his studio, just make sure it's marked for the April 11 Empty Bowls event, and I'll grab it when I come up. And if you do that, why not stay and throw a bowl or 12!

Many thanks in advance!

John Britt

Nelle Pingree

Here is another paricipant from the Digital Photo Class, Nelle Pingree's work:

"Pomagranate with Flower," Havdalah Set. Cone 10 reduction, stoneware, each piece approx 3" x 4" x 3", 2009.

John Britt

Bread and Soup

Had some great bread at the workshop that Joy made with whole bulgar wheat. Really made it nutty. She used the previously posted recipe:

Alan’s Bread Recipe (New York Times Recipe)

3 cups of unbleached bread flour
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 5/8 cups water
2 teaspoons kosher salt

Combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon of yeast, and water in a large bowl. Stir until blended; dough will be shaggy and sticky. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let bowl rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours, at room temperature (70°F).

After the 18 hour first rise, punch down with a wooden spoon. Place in a greased metal loaf pan. Let rise for 2 more hours keeping the pan covered with another loaf pan inverted onto the top of the bottom pan.

Bake bread for 30 minutes at 450° F with the lid on and then continue for another 15 minutes with the lid off.
You can add whatever other stuff like nuts, grains or switch flour to rye, wheat, etc.

Marian Park brought her favorite book shown above:

"Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day"

Which had lots of great recipes and variations.

We also had :

Potato Soup
(Joy of Cooking, 1973 ed.)

Peel and Slice :
2 medium sized potatoes

Skin and chop:
2 medium sized onions
4 ribs of celery

Sauté these ingredients in:
1 ½ tablespoons butter

Boiling water to cover
½ teaspoon salt

Boil vegetables until the potatoes are tender. Put them in a blender and then beat in:
2 tablespoons of butter

Thin the soup with:
Rich milk or chicken stock

Salt and paprika
A dash of Worcestershire sauce

Serve with chopped parsley, chives or watercress

John Britt

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Binna Green

Franco came to the class and took some images of his wife's great work. Binna is in Asheville too.

He also told us all his Italian secret cooking tricks.

John Britt

Lisa Gluckin

Lisa was just awarded the prestigious "Artist of the Month" award here on the Clay Club Blog , but here is a new and improved image! Same great work, just a tighter presentation.

John Britt


Cynthia Lee

Here are some nice images of Cynthia Lee's work. She is at the Curve Studio's in Asheville.

John Britt


Tria Turrou

Tria was in the Digital Photo Class and sent in some nice photos of her work.

One of the treats teaching this class is seeing all the amazingly talented sculptors and potters in the area!

John Britt

This Friday, April 3rd, there will be a ceramic show called "New Spring Work" opening at Clingman Cafe in Asheville featuring Courtney Murphy, Julie Covington, Heather Tinnaro, Patty Bilbro, Jennifer Hoolihan and Penny Waters- Clark. Clingman Cafe is located at 242 Clingman Ave., just a few doors down from Odyssey Clay Center in the River District.  The opening will be from 5-7 on April 3rd, and the show will be up for a month, starting an exciting three months straight of clay shows at Clingman cafe. Hope you all can make it. 

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Black Bean Soup Recipe

Here is another Barbara Gerber image:

Also, at the workshop we had some Black Bean Soup, Veggie Style:

Black Bean Soup (from Robin Dreyer)

4 (15 ounce) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 whole head of garlic, minced
¼ cup sherry
Juice of one lime
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 teaspoons ground cumin (optional)
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Place beans and garlic in pan bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer. Let it sit overnight.

Put beans in blender and grind to a smooth consistency. Add water until it is the consistency you like.

Serve warm; add sherry and lime juice and garnish with sour cream, cilantro, shredded parmesan and salsa.

8 serving

John Britt


Barbara Gerber Teapot

Had a great workshop today! Barbara Gerber sent in the first homework assignment: email her images in small format for publishing on-line (blog).

She has great work as you can see and with the simple set up we have, as well as Joy Tanner's expert instruction and eye, the images are beautiful!

Here is another:
Thanks Barbara,
John Britt

Friday, March 27, 2009

Openings in the Digital Photo Class

We had a couple of cancellations in the Digital Photography Class on Sunday March 26, 2009 which runs from 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. It is $60 which includes lunch and photos of two - three of your pots. Call John for more details. 828-467-5020

John Britt

Gallery News and "The Collection"

Recently, Crimson Laurel Gallery added a new wing to it's growing selection of studio ceramics. The concept was to bring in a group of potters from around the country and display three or four pieces from each to create a collection unique to the area. The selection of pots as well as artists will continually change throughout the year keeping interest high from both customers and enthusiasts alike.

Artists in the new collection include, Andy Rogers, Andrew Van Assche, Bryan Hopkins, David Eichelberger, Mark Knott, David Crane, Natalie Blake, Hiroe Hanazono, Sam Taylor (pic below), Goyer Bonneau, Jason Bohnert, Justin Rothshank, Stacey Stanhope, Ryan Tabaka, Whitehead Street Pottery, Michael Hughes, Kent Harris, and Munemitsu Taguchi.

From slip cast to slab built and from salt and soda to terra-sig, this fine collection of pieces is a great way for instructors and students to see many different forms and surfaces without building up frequent flyer mileage. Anyone interested in becoming part of this rotating display should contact us here at the gallery (828) 688-3599 or email us at Crimsonlaurelart@aol.com.

Jenny Lou Sherburne's opening was very well attended. Thank you to all those who came to show your support for this outstanding local artist. Something new for our openings is a live video cam in the gallery that can be viewed on the Crimson Laurel web site. Although our camera placement choice was limited, it's a great first attempt and we plan to improve the concept for the next show which will be the pottery of Rob Pulleyn and jewelry of Deb Karash. To view the video visit our website at http://www.crimsonlaurelgallery.com/ and simply click on the video spot on our home page.

Lastly, Crimson Laurel Gallery would like to say congratulations to Liz Zlot Summerfielfd on her recent front cover story by Katie Schultz in the April 2009 issue of Ceramics Monthly. The Pictures taken by Liz are really outstanding and the story by Katie is top form. Bravo to both of you!

David Trophia
Crimson Laurel Gallery

Yunomi Invitational 2009

AKAR Designs is having the Yunomi Invitational 2009.

I don't know about everyone else in the show, but if you by my yunomi's all the profits (half of the price) go to the Studio Potter Magazine.

The Studio Potter Magazine needs all the help that they can get in these uncertain ecomomic times so if you can support them - DO IT!

You will get a decent tea bowl too.

John Britt

For all you NPR geeks...

We have a celebrity in our midst. Sarah House is going to be on "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me" this weekend. The show airs around here at 11 AM Saturday. I hope she makes us all proud!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Pottery Festival-Hickory , NC

Catawba Valley Pottery Festival  is in Hickory Sat 9-5    .. Mark Hewitt is giving a lecture on Sat. morning ..


Yo Clubbers,

We are thinking of having a demo by Susan Faegan's of her wonderful techniques (if she is available??) and a slide show by one of the current instructor's at Penland (Gregory).

If anyone has any suggestions....now is the time. Don't just sit there ---say something.

I was going to have it at my studio, here in the wet Mitchell County, unless someone else wants to host it?????

(John Ferlazzo is recovering from an injury so perhaps he will host in May or June.)

Also, on the food, I thought of having PIZZA since we had to smell pizza for the entire drive to Emily's and then it got swooped up before we had any!

I think people like pizza.

What do you think???

PIZZA COOK-OFF?? Prize ?? A Cynthia Bringle Pot?? (Better ask Cynthia)


John Britt

Kari Hopkins

By the way, I saw a nice Exhibit of Kari Hopkins Pottery at the Asheville Airport during my travels. It was a really nice display and I saw the piece that she brought to the critique.

Congratulations Kari!

John Britt

Artist of the Month

LISA GLUCKIN is really coming up with some fantastic work these days, boys and girls.

She has an amazing imagination as well as a reall PASSION for clay. I would say that she is one to watch as she explodes into her future!

Don't worry, we will help her with the photo background this weekend.

John Britt

Back from Wyoming Workshop


Finally made it back from Rock Springs, Wyoming where I was giving a weekend Oil Spot Firing Workshop. Had some great students as well as work.

Bart Fetz, the professor, was a great host and, in spite of the snow storm which delayed all the flights, we had a great time.
Now Joy and I are getting ready for the Digital Photography Workshop this weekend!

John Britt

Monday, March 23, 2009

Ideas Anyone

Hey Clubbers,
Let's kick around some ideas for the next Clay Club.
One idea was to have a demonstration, but who? demonstrating what?
Any other ideas?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Digital Photo Class

Joy and I spent some time setting up the Digital Photo Studio at my place as we get ready for the two Digital Photography Classes coming up. Should be a lot of fun.

The quality is going to be high because of Joy Tanner's presence!
John (white balance) Britt

Mating Turkeys

The Toms are out in full force at the studio. They are amazing!

John Britt


Pottery Center donations

Thanks to John Britt and Stanley Anderson who just dropped off work .. Anyone else  bring it in the blue door,up the ramp, sometime tomorrow or early Fri  and thank you ...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Free Glaze Calculation and Storage Software

Yo Clubbers and Co.,

If anyone wants to try a free glaze calculation software...go to:


It's very simple, (without many features). It just allows you to calculate unity and save recipes.

It's completely free and there are no ads. Its just something that Mike Barber created for himself last year and introduced to a few potters.

Pass on the love, baby!

Take care and happy potting.-Mike Barber--A part time potter in Franklin, NC

John britt

Next Clay club

Yo Clubbers,

We have been planning the next Clay Club...and have been looking a suggestions ya'll gave us ....and we are thinking of a demo for both handbuilding and throwing. (Mini-NCECA style.)
If you have any new requests or venues let me know ASAP,
John Britt

Glaze and Firing Class

Had our glaze and firing class and it went very well, or so they tell me. We did a bunch of triaxials and natural materials glazes as well as some cone 6 oxidation.

If you are ready to get some knowledge to help you understand what on earth is going on in the apparent total chaos and disorder of the glaze and firing world...let me know!

John Britt

Spring has Sprung

I have some flowers in the yard blooming and then took a hike up on Roan and saw my first butterfly today?! Wow they don't mess around.

John Britt


Pug mill/ extruder- SOLD< SOLD


If you're not interested, he would appreciate your passing it along to anyone you think might be.

He lives in the Raleigh and would consider meeting buyer within a 4 hour drive from there.

Pictures on requests-mail

Bailey Power (Air operated) Extruder
M500-024 EXB Die Kit
M500-023 Standard Die Kit
M500-025 Die Adapter
M500-9K 9" Clay Barrel M500-7 4" Barrel
M500-6 System 3 Power Drive Frame
M500-14 Cutting/Removal Stand (Includes 1 each - parting platform & cutting guide) PLUS... 5 1/4" Hexagonal hollow die - homemade from sheet plastic Homemade removal tray to work with the parting platform.

All of the above totals to a list price of $2170, currently on sale for $1735. $1400 for it all. If you're interested, I can send photos (the dies were all purchased new when I got it a couple of years ago,some are unused). DOES NOT INCLUDE AN AIR COMPRESSOR

Bluebird Model 650S pug mill ? 4" barrel - non-de-airing - This is a wheeled unit similar to the current model 675 non-de-airing machine. New gearbox installed 2006.Pictures upon request.

$900Bluebird Model 12 Clay mixer with optional rolling stand. Stainless steel construction.


Apprenticeship Needed

Hello all,

I'm a senior ceramics major at Furman University, a liberal arts university in Greenville, South Carolina. I am looking around (everywhere!) for an apprenticeship/studio assistant position for the next year.

I graduate in May and am hoping to find a place in a studio where I can be of any help in exchange for a little working space/ use of kilns. I'm curious, eager and very hardworking. I currently am the teacher's assistant for the throwing class and studio tech for our studio. I also interned for the American Craft Council with their Baltimore show last month and have worked with my local arts non-profit group.

Some images of my work and my full academic/creative CV can be found at : http://marybaugh.blogspot.com

the CV can be found under the 2008 archive on the right side, it's the first post (so at the bottom).

Feel free to pass that link along to anyone you know who might have a studio opening coming up within the next year.

Thanks so much for any guidance you may be able to give,

Mary Baugh mary.baugh@gmail.com

New Art and Antique Gallery

There will be a new Art and Antique Gallery opening next to the TRAC Gallery in Spruce Pine, N.C. Brenda Sparks is opening it and she is going to have approx 9.5 x 10 booths for artists and there will be a monthly booth rental, for between $125 and $250 depending on where your booth is and the size. The Gallery will staff the sales people and they will charge a 10% commission on top of the booth rental. Artists are responsible for setting up their booth space the way they want and will provide their own shelving/tables etc.

By the way, the only antiques that they will have according to Brenda will be very high end. They are hoping to get set up and open during April.

Call Brenda if you are interested 828-766-7948

John Britt

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Happy Bringle Day

Happy Birthday to the Lennon Sisters...oh, I mean the Bringle sisters!

What's not to love?

John Britt

Employee Opportunity at the Archie Bray Foundation

The Archie Bray Foundation is looking for a new Clay Business Manager. Below is a short description of the position. For more information visit our web site at www.archiebray.org or contact Resident Artist Director Steven Y. Lee at 406/443-3502.

The Archie Bray Clay Business is an enterprise business that operates to provide technical and financial support for the Archie Bray Foundation. The Clay Business Manager is responsible for all aspects of the Clay Business operations. These responsibilities are roughly divided into two components; manufacturing and retail sales. The manager will work with the Resident Artist Director to ensure that the business serves the Foundation mission and continues to grow and provide support for the Foundation.Training and ExperienceBusiness experience and a minimum of five years working in the field of ceramics are required. The potential candidate must have a broad knowledge of ceramic processes and materials and it is encouraged that they have some manufacturing experience. Candidates should also be familiar with financial record keeping software, have skills in office and staff management and have excellent customer service skills.

Remuneration and Benefits

This position will be a full-time salaried position based on a 40-hour work week. Health care coverage is available after 90 days of employment. The Clay Business Manager will be able to accrue paid vacation time at a rate of one half day per month after the first six months.

How to Apply

Please send cover letter, resume, list of employment and contact information for last five years and two non-employment related references and contact information to:

The Archie Bray Foundation Attn: Steven Y. Lee 2915 Country Club Rd. Helena, MT. 59602Or you can e-mail a word or PDF file to steve@archiebray.org.

Please type "Clay Business Manager Application" in the subject heading.

Deadline is March 16, 2009.

John Britt

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Clay Club Report

We had a great clay club once again, thanks to Emily Reason and her special guests: Linda McFarling, Michael Kline and Shane Mickey.

Everyone participated in the critiques of some brave potters who brought work. ( Courtney, Louise, Susan, Tria, Lynda, Kari, etc.) I thought is was both helpful to the participants and those who watched. Everyone chimed in with their varied opinions but it seemed everyone went away with some constructive advice.

Next meeting is April 8, 2009 and we will have to determine the topic and food choice. Perhaps this one will be back in good ole Mitchell County ...which is now soaking WET! And not from the rain.

John Britt

NC Pottery Center

For anyone who still wishes to give something to the NCPC  auction I will be going that way in a week ..They would very much appreciate   it . You may have something in your collection to give .  Drop it at my studio before Fri. 20th ... Thankyou , Cynthia 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

no more shaking

My DT's are subsiding, calm hands now. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

yippee now dont just stand there with your hands on your hips, go pack up pots for clay club: ncpc benefit and critique.

see y'all in marshall

The year of miracles!


John Britt

Collecting Glazes

Took a field trip in the Glaze Class today! We went prospecting for glaze materials in Johnson City. Found the monster pile of shale for our triaxial blend.
John Britt

Jugs are out.

If alcohol is in, then that is the death of moonshine jugs. I would try to sell everything at half price!
Glass is king once again.
John Britt


That is what I was doing today .

Spruce Pine!

Spruce Pine has voted YES
to all four alcohol propositions.
Some said it couldn't be done!
I guess I better crank up the jug production!

Clay Club Meeting

If anyone from the Celo/Micaville area wants a ride, I have several spots in the van. We're leaving my place (the old Craven place) around 5:45.


Monday, March 9, 2009

NCPC Pottery Donations Collection at Clay Club

Thanks to all who will be bringing donations of pottery to Clay Club to benefit the NC Pottery Center. Michael Kline has generously offered to collect the pieces this Wednesday on behalf of the Center. Please remember to include your paperwork in the box with your pottery so your work can be displayed and credited to you!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Jenny Lou Sherburne - Informed Wildness - Crimson Laurel Gallery

"Ever time I make a piece, I try to further my skills as a potter. " That statement from Jenny pretty much sums up what she is about. A dedicated potter in every sense of the word. What strikes me most about Jenny's approach to the craft is her fearless nature, her use of color mixed with an unimaginable sense of detail, balance, and flat out skill.

Setting up a show for any artist requires trust from both the artist and the gallery owner. With Jenny, we had very little communication about what direction the show might take. We knew Jenny would wow us and that she did. New forms mixed with some of Jenny's classic forms make this a retrospective of where she has been but also where she might be heading. In total Jenny produced over a hundred pieces for this show ranging from 3" round plates to a 21" tall pitcher that pours out enough creativity to fill all our glasses. My favorites include the cordial tray (pictured) and the gravity defying goblets, some of which stand nearly 15" tall.

To learn more about Jenny Lou Sherburne I highly recommend reading Katey Schultz's "Informed Wildness" article in the December 2008 issue of Ceramic Arts and Perception. Katey was gracious enough to let us use the title of her article for our show. It was just too perfect. Thanks Katey! My all time favorite quote from the article, one that made me laugh out loud, was when Jenny stated, " Recently, I've started to invade the pots even more. I go in there and I know I'm doing something ornery." It doesn't get any better than that folks. http://katey.schultz.googlepages.com/

The reception date for this show is Saturday March 21st at 6:00 PM. For all those who have a chance to attend, please do, support of our artists this year is so vital. Come celebrate the art and this truly wonderful member of our mountain artist community.

David Trophia
Crimson Laurel Gallery

Friday, March 6, 2009

Friday Funnies

All the Pots are Brown

All the pots are brown
And the glaze is grey
I went for a walk
Up ole Warren's way
They's be brown and round
Like they were in the day
Mingiesota dreaming
Up ole Warren's way

I stopped into a store (stopped into a store)
I passed along the way (passed along the way)
I asked if he had any (asked if he had any)
Made with macrame (made with macrame)
He looked off into the distance (off into the distance)
A tear fell from his eye (a tear fell from his eye)
Oh, Mingiesota Dreaming
Up ole Warren's way

All the pots are brown (and the pots are brown)
And the glaze is grey (and the glaze is grey)
I went for a walk (I went for a walk)
Up ole Warren's way (up ole Warren's way)
They'd be brown and round (brown and round)
Like they were in the day (like they were in the day)
If I could only sell'em (if I could only sell'em)
I could eat today (I could eat today)

Oh, Mingiesota Dreaming (Mingiesota Dreaming)
Up ole Warren's way (Mingiesota Dreaming)
Up ole Warren's way (Mingiesota Dreaming)
Up ole Warren's way (Mingiesota Dreaming)
Up ole Warren's way (Mingiesota Dreaming)

Lyrics by John Britt
Parody to Mammas and the Pappas; "California Dreaming"

Michael Hunt sung this to me one day in a Penland pick up but I forgot the words ...so I made some up. Can anyone help me with the real words?

John Britt

Soda kiln building workshop

Hi everyone! Here's the down low about Penland's soda kiln building workshop this April. I know folks want to spend two weeks with Shane Mickey and a brick saw. Come join us!

Special Clay Workshop: Making Pots/Building Kilns with Shane Mickey, potter and kiln builder

April 5 - 18, 2009 at Penland School of Crafts

Join Shane Mickey as he builds and fires the new Penland cross draft soda kiln. This two week intensive class consists of kiln building instruction and making pots to fill and fire the new kiln. Over the course of the first week, the class will construct a small sprung arch cross draft soda kiln using Shane's signature design details. During the evenings students will make pots, watch demonstrations and talk shop about glazes, slips, kilns and general potter's life topics. The class will hear lectures on kiln design theory, resources for kiln building, and the smart way to approach building a kiln. The class will load and fire the kiln twice during the class as well as take field trips to see local potter's studios.

Tuition: $850 plus room and board (varies depending on type of room; meal plans are also available for students staying off campus).

For complete information and an application form see http://www.penland.org/programs/special_programs_kiln.html

CLAY CLUB Wed March 11 6:30-8pm

We'll be layin' the hammer down at our next Clay Club meeting while we hold small group cirtiques. Please don't be affraid, we won't actually have hammers. Everyone is invited to bring a piece(s) to discuss. Please also feel free to observe or participate in critiques without bringing pieces.
Linda McFarling, Michael Kilne and a surprise guest will act as moderators for our small groups.
The meeting will be held at my studio in Marshall- Marshall High Studios, where there's plenty of space for us to spread out. Directions will be emailed to all those on the email list or contact me for diections reasonpots@hotmail.com
Make the Trek!
Bring Finger Food, if you can, so we call fill up our plates before we begin.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

2009 Baltimore American Craft Show Review

The pulse of craft still beats in Baltimore, MD. That, according to some of the American Craft Council members at this years ACC show. Having spent the entire show working with Deb Karash, a jeweler from Marshall NC, I was able to hit the floor to ask questions and covet pots.
Although the wholesale portion of the show left most of us with a bad taste in our mouths, the second retail course seemed to spark a glimpse of hope for the pending sales year. Personally, I heard only a few rumblings about the economy from the buyers. For the most part, collectors, enthusiasts, and novices alike seemed to be looking for a reason to do the impossible. Spend! The spoils of this spending went to those who seemed to have new work, new booths and a positive outlook on the economic dilemma we have all found ourselves in.
I asked Bryan Hopkins, a potter from Buffalo, NY what he thought of the show this year he had plenty to say. "Great pots still sell" was a quote I will use for the rest of the sales year here at Crimson Laurel Gallery, Bakersville, NC. Although down in sales slightly from last year, Bryan thought the show fared well, better than he expected. Without bowing down to the market, as Bryan put it, he produced some pots with a lower price point to increase sales. Smart, considering much of the high end work at the show suffered this year. " I went into the show with my eyes open and no high expectations." Bryan also urged fellow potters not to forget their local markets and shows this year. Overhead is lower so the percentage of take home will be higher. Bryan's work can be found online at http://www.hopkinspottery.com/ and now in the new collectors series at Crimson Laurel Gallery. (cream and Sugar set above by Bryan Hopkins)

Another talking point among artists at the show this year was the lack of carpeting in the never ending rows of booths at the convention center. American Craft decided to pull the rugs so to speak late in the game, mainly to save a buck. Understandably, I might add. Many artists were upset over this decision remarking some of the savings might have been passed along to the artists. After the show started not much else was heard from neither the artists nor the customers. The look was clean and modern (I love polished concrete anyway) and the lesser amount of allergens in the air made for a lot less sinus problems all around. A nice move in my opinion. Hind sight is truly 20/20. Much to my dismay, I learned that the carpet for these shows are used only a few times before it is thrown out. Whether this is true or not I'm unsure. Someone enlighten me please?

Overall Deb and I left the Convention center feeling like many of us had a good show despite the economic climate. The weather this year was mild except for the snow storm on the last day of the show. Anyone going to Atlanta in a few days might want to consider slight changes in the booth design and remember to bring pots that might appeal to those with less money riding on their hip. Remember, great pots always sell.

I'd like to thank Emily Reason for the opportunity to blog on the clay clubs site. I hope to be able to do more in the very near future to review the new show in our exhibit space as of March 7th. Jenny Lou Sherburne, Informed Wildness. You can view the show online at http://www.crimsonlaurelgallery.com/.

David Trophia
Crimson Laurel Gallery