The North Carolina Clay Club formed to connect potters and ceramic artists of WNC. Beginning August 11 and continuing through September 22, the Toe River Arts Council’s Spruce Pine Gallery will host “va•ri•e•ties–Western North Carolina Clay Show” — a display of diversity from the collection of artists.
Several years ago, Tom Spleth created the Glaze Club at Penland School of Crafts. In 2008, it was restarted by a small group of local potters who just wanted to get together more. Shows, festivals, and fairs kept them from seeing each other for months. The Glaze Club morphed in the NC Clay Club. Members meet at various studios around the region; they listen to other ceramists, perhaps watch a demonstration, exchange ideas, share information, and form friendships that have and will last for years. Once a year they make cups for the Penland Auction and again for the empty bowls event to feed the hungry. They have no membership list, no dues, yet between 12 to 65 people attend each monthly meeting and over 50,000 people have visited their blog in the last year.
Participants in “va•ri•e•ties” come from Asheville, Leicester, Marshall, and all places in Mitchell and Yancey Counties. Alex Matisse, Michael Kline, Kyle Carpenter, Cynthia Bringle and over 50 other potters will have some of their signature works as well as some wild and crazy work — an eclectic mix that will capture the diversity of artists working in clay in the North Carolina mountains. From functional to decorative, sculptural to abstract, figurative to experimental, it will be a tribute to the remarkable myriad talents and creative minds of the ceramists of Western North Carolina.
A reception will be held on opening day, Saturday, August 11 from 5 to 7 pm at the TRAC Gallery in Spruce Pine, 269 Oak Avenue. For more information, call 765-0520.
The Toe River Arts Council is a nonprofit organization serving Mitchell and Yancey Counties in WNC. Gallery hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 am to 5 pm.