Thursday, December 31, 2015

Friday, December 18, 2015

New York Times: handmade ceramics are white hot

In case you missed it: the New York Times says handcrafted ceramics are "white hot." Excerpt:

"Robert Sullivan, the contributing editor at Vogue who wrote the magazine’s ceramics article, said that ceramics are popular now because they are 'among the most obviously and literally handmade things.'

"'It’s an antidote to all the electronics,' he added.

"Julie Carlson, editor in chief of the design website Remodelista, has chronicled the rise. 'It’s entwined with the farm-to-table movement,' she said. 'It’s this desire to know the origin of what’s in your kitchen.'

"'It’s hard to keep track of them,' she added of new ceramists. 'In the beginning, it seemed like there were just a few, but now there are more than we can cover, and more than we can invite to our markets.'"

The article is titled, "Why Handmade Ceramics Are White Hot." Read it here:

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Toe River Arts Council Annual Meeting tonight in Spruce PIne

The Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) will hold its Annual Meeting at 5:30 pm today at Spruce Pine TRAC (upstairs in the Arts Resource Center). Here's the announcement from the WTOE website:

The TRAC Annual Meeting and Potluck dinner will be held on Wednesday, December 16, at 5:30pm at the Arts Resource Center in Spruce Pine (wheelchair accessible entrance is around the back of the TRAC Gallery, 269 Oak Avenue, on the second floor). An evening to meet new friends, connect with old friends, be introduced to the new board of director members, and learn a bit more about your Arts Council. Executive Director, Denise Cook, will reflect on the year’s activities, the branding initiatives now being developed, and the future of TRAC in our community. The meeting/dinner is free and the public is invited. Bring a friend or come alone. Bring a dish to share or just smile.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Peter Pugger Mfg. Pugger and Mixer for Sale in South Asheville


Peter Pugger Mfg. Pugger and Mixer for Sale in South Asheville

Asking $2,700.00 OBO
VPM 20 Pugger-Mixer
110 Volts, 1 phase with rolling stand
Purchased August 2001 - used 3 times with stoneware
Purchase Price $3,829.00
Current 2015 retail price is $4,427.00
Call 828 684 9608 - leave message and please repeat your contact info twice.

A call for artists to serve in Asheville

Asheville Citizen-Times writer Emily Patrick continues her focus on artists and the arts in Asheville, this time writing about opportunities for artists to serve on Asheville government boards and commissions, and how civic participation like that can influence the future and growth of the city. The Asheville Downtown Commission has put out a call for someone with an arts connection to apply to serve, and there are openings on other boards and commissions, too.


"The Asheville Downtown Commission, which advises City Council on development and infrastructure, is seeking an arts professional to join its ranks.

"Since the cultural arts superintendent position was eliminated from city staff after Diane Ruggiero departed in 2012, boards are the main way arts professionals contribute directly to city policy.

"'If we’re going to be a part of that community, we need to be integrated into that community and find ways to help that community grow and sustain or better serve because we all want this to be a great place to live and work,' said John Ellis, executive director of the Diana Wortham Theatre. Ellis serves on the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority."

The article is titled, "Arts on board: Can city political posts lead to power?" Read it here:

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Riverview Station Holiday Market today!

The 2nd Annual Riverview Station Holiday Market takes place from 4-8 pm today! 30+ artists, including The Village Potters, our December Clay Club hosts, at Riverview Station in the River Arts District in Asheville.

More info on the Riverview Station Holiday Market Facebook event page:

The Mountain Xpress has a list of Asheville and Western North Carolina craft events happening this weekend and next here:

Friday, December 11, 2015

North Carolina Pottery Center Survey of NC Potters/Ceramic Artists

The North Carolina Pottery Center is conducting a survey of North Carolina Potters. You may have received an email with a link to the survey, but if not, you can contact the center and they will send you one. (Links are one-time use only.) Here's the announcement from the NC Pottery Center Facebook page:

Notice for NC Potters/Ceramic Artists:

The North Carolina Pottery Center is conducting a "Survey of NC Potters/Ceramic Artists." We sent this survey out via SurveyMonkey on Tuesday, December 1st, to every person who is identified as a North Carolina potter or ceramic artist in our database *AND* for whom we had an email address.
The survey is anonymous and broken down into two sections: 1) Basic Demographic Information, and 2) Questions relating specifically to the North Carolina Pottery Center.

We are collecting basic demographic information so that we may have a clearer overall picture of the make-up of our state's Potters/Ceramic Artists. Such information may help us better fulfill our mission and could potentially be useful for grant-writing purposes.

Your answers to the questions relating specifically to the North Carolina Pottery Center will provide us with feedback on how well the Center is doing at fulfilling its mission and give us insight and input into how the Center may be able to improve the services it provides to Potters/Ceramic Artists as well as Visitors.

If you are a NC Potter/Ceramic Artist and have not yet received this email/survey, it doesn't mean we don't like you! It means:

1. You may need to check your Spam/Social/Promotions folders to make sure the survey didn't end up there.
2. Your email address, and perhaps other contact information, may not be in our database.

We do want feedback from as many of the state's potters/ceramic artists as possible, so if you haven't yet received the survey and wish to participate, please contact us at the center ( or 336-873-8430), so that we may get any necessary additional email addresses added to our database and also have SurveyMonkey send out additional anonymous surveys.

All survey responses must be received by midnight on Thursday, December 31, 2015.

The North Carolina Pottery Center is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, and our mission is to promote public awareness and appreciation of the history, heritage, and ongoing tradition of pottery making in North Carolina through permanent and temporary exhibitions, educational programs, public services, collection and preservation, and research and documentation.

We hope that as many NC potters and ceramic artists as possible will take the opportunity to take this survey and provide us with useful and thoughtful feedback.

Lindsey Lambert
Executive Director


Thursday, December 10, 2015

Recap: December Clay Club at The Village Potters in Asheville

A big thank you to The Village Potters for hosting December Clay Club! The Village Potters are located in Riverview Station in the River Arts District in Asheville, and their facility includes studios, teaching space, a gallery and more. We met in their new Independent Study/Mentoring (IS/M) studio. Lori Theriault provided an overview of the IS/M program - here's a little about it from their website:

"The Village Potters Independent Study & Mentoring Program (IS/M Program) will accommodate 8-20 artists, and will offer a directed mentorship program for the developing potter as well as the serious hobby artist who wants to refine his or her skills. The IS/M Program is designed to offer a non-traditional/relational experience to help the emerging potter hone skills and, if desired, make the move into a career with a thorough understanding of business in the arts.

"This program is designed for emerging potters who desire to have regular access to studio as well as relationship and community with other potters and opportunities to explore many firing techniques. We believe that in two years a potter can hone their skills and develop a unique body of work that will equip them to launch into even more creative clay pursuits. The program, like all things at The Village is designed to be highly relational, and in many ways custom to the goals of each IS/M student. Whether you plan to be a professional potter or a part time creative, this program will afford you the opportunity to go as far as you wish in clay."

Interested in applying for the IS/M program? Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with the next review date being March 24, 2016, to start May 1, 2016. Details on The Village Potters website:

Big news: The Village Potters are now a Laguna Clays distributor. They think their next order will be in March 2016 - if you're interested in possibly participating, keep an eye on their website for details or shoot them an email at

The Village Potters are still working on their Kazegama wood-influenced kiln project - you can support their work on it here:

Lori led us on a tour of the studios and multi-room gallery, which you can see from the photos here are quite impressive. After a little more socializing we had the annual cup/object exchange - thanks again to Lori for leading it masterfully. (I am loving my Sarah Wells Rollands mug!)

The Village Potters will be participating in the Riverview Station Holiday Market this Saturday, December 12th:

The Village Potters have A LOT going on! Check out their website for information on classes, workshops, events, and everything they're doing:

Thanks again to Lori, Sarah and all of The Village Potters, and to everyone who came!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Clay Club tonight at The Village Potters in Asheville

Clay Club is tonight!


When: 6 pm tonight

Where: The Village Potters in the River Arts District in Asheville (see link below for directions).

What: tour and description of The Village Potters new Independent Study/Mentoring Program and updates on their Kazegama kiln build. We'll also have the annual Clay Club cup/mug/object exchange (see the link below for details about the exchange).

We will have the usual potluck, so bring food to share. Clay Club is BYOB, so bring drink, too.

Directions and more details here:

*** Mitchell and Yancey folks - if you're interested in joining our car pool from Micaville, let me know, preferably by noon. ***

See you tonight!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Clay Club: December Clay Club at The Village Potters in Ashev...

Clay Club: December Clay Club at The Village Potters in Ashev...: Awesome news! The Village Potters in the River Arts District in Asheville will host Clay Club in their new Independent Study/Mentoring st...

Saturday, December 5, 2015

December Clay Club at The Village Potters in Asheville on Wednesday, December 9

Awesome news! The Village Potters in the River Arts District in Asheville will host Clay Club in their new Independent Study/Mentoring studio this coming Wednesday, December 9th, from 6-8 pm. Thank you, Lori, Sarah and all of The Village Potters!

They will give a tour and description of their new Independent Study/Mentoring Program and updates on their Kazegama kiln build.

We'll also hold the annual mug/object exchange. (In case you haven't been before, here are the details on the exchange, as explained by John Britt for a previous exchange: "The Cup Exchange doesn't have to be a cup but more like any "object" , so think creatively about what you have laying around. Just something to swap. You could even bring an old used shitty cup from the cupboard as long as it is a Hamada made it.")

We will have the usual potluck, so bring food to share. Clay Club is BYOB, so bring drink, too.

The Village Potters are located at Riverview Station in Asheville’s River Arts District at:

191 Lyman Street, #180
Asheville, NC 28801

Directions available here:

Questions? Contact The Village Potters at or 828-253-2424. You can also contact me at or at 828-467-1183.

*** Mitchell and Yancey folks - if you're interested in carpooling, let me know. ***

Thanks again to The Village Potters! See you Wednesday.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Toe River Studio Tour this weekend!

The Toe River Holiday Studio Tour starts today and runs through Sunday in Mitchell and Yancey Counties. Pictures here are from the Toe River Arts Council (TRAC) Spruce Pine Gallery where you can see work by all the artists participating in the tour.

Here's the info from the TRAC website:

The Holiday Tour is December 4-6, 2015!

Hours of the Tour are 12 to 4PM on Friday, 10AM to 5PM Saturday and Sunday.

Reception will be December 4 at the Spruce Pine Gallery from 5 to 7PM.

This year’s holiday tour boast 58 studios, 109 artists (18 new) and 8 galleries. The Toe River Studio Tour is perhaps the largest and the longest running studio tour in the country; you will find craftspeople and artists in nearly every medium, many tops in their field and several new-to-the-tour participants.

FREE, self-guided, this adventure will lead you to some unique places situated between Mt. Mitchell and Roan Mountain. Visitors travel through valleys, past streams, across rivers, over hilltops, and experience breathtaking mountain vistas as they those many out-of-the-way studios. Meet the artists, see where they create and where they live.

Here's a listing of artists participating in this tour:

Get all the details, including maps and a downloadable tour guide, here:

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Gas Kilns for Sale Addendum

Got so excited that I actually had the connectivity to send images to the blog I skipped some contact info.

As I posted the kilns are in Greeneville Tennessee. I am about an hour away near Gatlinburg, but can meet anyone most any time with a little notice. I will do as much as I can on this end to get them on a truck headed to you. The shed has a wide barn style door and plenty of flat ground around it to make it easy to get a trailer close. I can fabricate an arch brace and whatever else might be needed.

My phone is 865-217-2839 and I leave an answering machine on.
My email is It is an old account, but still works best at the shop.

Reasonable offers will be considered.

I apologize for the double posting.

Patrick Houston
Rocky Flats Pottery

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December Clay Club? Looking for an Asheville-area host

Robbie Bell offered to host December Clay Club in his Mitchell County studio, but we've learned that the Spruce Pine Potters Market potters are holding a meeting on December 9th. We know it's hard for Asheville-area folks to make it to Bakersville, and the Potters Market meeting would leave out a lot of Mitchell and Yancey County potters. We considered postponing our December meeting till the next Wednesday, but the Toe River Arts Council is holding their annual meeting on December 16th. Robbie has kindly offered to host Clay Club in January instead. (Thanks, Robbie!) Make plans to join us at Robbie's Speckled Dog Pottery on Wednesday, January 13th.

We can hold our annual December Clay Club mug/object exchange if someone in the Asheville area would like to host on December 9th - if that someone is you, send me an email at and let me know.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Gas Kilns for Sale

Finishing up my good friend Steve Roberts estate. Cancer takes another good man too soon.

Bailey 34/B Shuttle Kiln

Bailey shuttle kiln set up for propane, Galvanized hood, flue, chains, roof jack and chimney cap built new for this kiln. Stack of 14 x 14 Bailey shelves, Buckets of kiln furniture. Plumb it up and go. Bailey makes a 32 shuttle now and it is $21,000 stripped down, no crating or shipping.  

Asking $ 6500 for the whole package.

Geil Portable Downdraft

Geil fiber lined updraft kiln, Uses up firing venturi burners. Hood, flue, roof jack, and chimney cap. Shelves and furniture. Geil is still making this model for $14,800 with no crating or shipping from California.

Asking $4500 for the whole deal.

Kilns are in Greeneville Tennessee in a purpose built kiln shed. Easy access around shed. They were probably bought in the early 90's, but I know have not been fired since 2004 when I helped Steve build the shed and place the kilns. Old and dusty, will have to be gone through, but a lot of value for the money. I will help in any way I can to make things go easier. Will consider reasonable offers. 

Patrick Houston
Rocky Flats Pottery