Thursday, March 30, 2017

Summer Workshops At Odyssey ClayWorks

Pristine Porcelain Pros with Taylor Robenalt & Kyungmin Park, May 22-26

Historical Forms, Contemporary Myths with Gabriel Kline & Anja Bartles, May 29- June 2

Demystifying Form: Clay Play And the Teapot with Fong Choo, June 5- 9

Cob Construction with Cayce Kolstad & Wes Thompson, August 7-11

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Invitation to participate in May Clay Club

May Clay Club will be be hosted by Karen Speer in Marion on Wednesday, May 10th. We will have a program of PechaKucha-inspired presentations. PechaKucha is “a simple presentation format where you show 20 images, each for 20 seconds.” You can read more about the format on the website. (Karen pointed out to me that NCECA had a program of PechaKucha-style talks this year in Portland; they called it Blinc 20:20 and you can see the line-up of presentations here:

We are going to put fewer limits on our presentations. The only requirements are that the presentations last 5-7 minutes and be ceramics-related. “Ceramics-related” is intentionally vague - you are encouraged to interpret that broadly: your favorite ceramic artist (dead or alive); a technique you’ve researched or mastered; something related to industrial or commercial ceramics; a museum you’ve visited; a historical topic you’ve researched - really *anything* related to ceramics.

Karen has a digital projector available for us to use, but you don’t have to use it. If you do present images, you are not bound by the PechaKucha 20-second rule - you can present them however you want as long as the presentation lasts 5-7 minutes.

May Club will be at our usual 6-8 pm time on Wednesday, May 10th. I'll share directions and more details closer to the date.

Send me an email ( if you’re interested or want more information!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Mica Gallery in Bakersville reopens April 6th!

Mica reopens! After a long winter’s nap, downtown Bakersville, NC re-awakens as Mica throws open its doors in full bloom with wonderful surprises.

Mica, a cooperative gallery of fine contemporary craft, begins its sixth season with newest member, Robbie Bell of Speckled Dog Pottery. Robbie has had a studio for functional pottery in Bakersville for five years and is organist and choirmaster for Trinity Episcopal Church in Spruce Pine.

In addition, Mica’s newest offerings include the work of Marita Strauss’ jewelry and Katherine McCarty’s oil paintings. And during the months of April and May as a special surprise to celebrate Mother’s Day and the joy of spring, a garden gift will be included in each purchase, as well as an opportunity to sign up for the drawing of a Mica gift certificate, with the drawing taking place the Saturday before Mother’s Day.

Beginning April 4th, Mica, located on Mitchell Avenue, opens Thursdays through Saturdays from 10 – 5 and Sundays from 12 – 5; with stunning work by 19 local artists, including furniture, sculpture, wearables, jewelry, and, of course, functional pottery. Mica is a must see destination for those who appreciate the handmade. Stop by, meet an artist, and celebrate spring!

37 N. Mitchell Ave.
Bakersville, NC

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Springtime Pottery Pop-Up in Asheville this Saturday

Springtime Pottery Pop-Up at the Asheville Food Park from 9-4 this Saturday, March 25th. The Asheville Food Park is at 219 Amboy Road, across from Carrier Park.

Details in the flyer and here:

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

20th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival this Saturday in Hickory

From the Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival website:

2017 marks the 20th Annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival. Its goal was and continues to be, showcasing the history of Catawba Valley alkaline glazed stoneware and the potters who continually produce this traditional utilitarian ware. Since most potters utilize wood-fired kilns at home sites, information about sales was tenuous, with customers relying on word-of-mouth or post cards. The CVP&AF provided an annual sale where pottery made in Catawba Valley, could be purchased. Over the years, development and growth have allowed the Festival to include potters from across the state and the South, as well as dealers offering historical pottery and antiques, providing a context for understanding the history and use of pottery in the South.

The Festival is a juried event, and will be held on Saturday, March 25, 2017, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC. More than 115 potters and vendors will offer their wares and antiques. Items include historical pottery, textiles, baskets, furniture and miniature items; with contemporary potters selling items ranging from coffee mugs to amazing works of art.

Along with the festival, Saturday includes special programming featuring pottery videos, demonstrations and an annual lecture presented by a special guest.

The CVP&AF is a non-profit event benefiting the Catawba County Historical Association in Newton, and the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove. More than $500,000 has been donated to the institutions over the past 19 years. The primary fund-raiser is the Friday night preview party, which offers guests an early buying opportunity, along with a Southern supper.

The Festival runs from 9:00am to 5:00pm, on Saturday; tickets are purchased at the door and are $6.00 for adults, $2.00 for children ages 3 to 12.

Get all the details, including a list of participants, here:

(Thanks to Lanny Pelletier for the reminder on Facebook!)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Arts incubator space planned for Woodfin, North Carolina

Here’s the news item from the Ashvegas website (Woodfin is just north of Asheville):

The town of Woodfin is planning to open a new arts incubator space called River Arts North. Town manager Jason Young, during a meeting of the Asheville Area Riverfront Redevelopment Commission last week, said the town had a “handshake agreement” on a location for the space, which the town is calling River Arts North. Young said the idea is to offer affordable space for artists getting priced out of the fast-developing River Arts District in Asheville. Young declined to offer any more details, saying that the town board has yet to take a formal vote on the project.


Friday, March 17, 2017

Free clay in Saluda, North Carolina


Here are the details from Lucinda Pittman:

HURRY...Limited time Offer...gotta move...Free Clay...Highwater White Earthenware...cone 06-02...ready to recycle...bags and bags...come get ALL or Lucy at

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Promised WNC jobs going to Minnesota after Yancey County ceramics business closes

Appalachian Terroir, the business that also included Crimson Laurel Gallery and Smoky Mountain Pottery, was supposed to create 47-50 jobs in Yancey County. This was a big deal in this small rural county in Western North Carolina, which is designated a Tier 1 county by the state. This designation indicates that Yancey County’s economic well-being is among the most distressed in North Carolina.

The jobs were supposed to pay an average of $45,000/year and were highly touted by local officials when Appalachian Terroir announced its opening in Micaville just a year ago. The owners sought public funding assistance to locate their business in Yancey County, but it's unclear whether any was provided.

Now that Appalachian Terroir is closing, it looks like at least some of these jobs are going to Minnesota. Deneen Pottery in St. Paul, Minnesota has this announcement on their website:

My name is Niles Deneen and I’m excited to introduce you to my family’s business, Deneen Pottery. We were founded in 1972 and for the past 20 years we have specialized in creating custom stoneware with a Glaze Engraved™ medallion for a variety of customers all over the United States. Our work is very similar to what you have been getting from Appalachian Terroir, which is one of the main reasons why we are now introducing ourselves to you.

Appalachian Terroir has made special arrangements with my family’s company, in order to continue to provide you with a quality American made product as they, unfortunately, have to close their doors. Although we are saddened to lose a fellow manufacturer – we trust that our excellent customer service and premier craftsmanship will be a suitable substitute.

Read the complete announcement here:

More about Appalachain Terroir:

Appalachian Terroir and Crimson Laurel Gallery signs taken down

The end of the line for Appalachian Terroir

Yancey Times Journal on Crimson Laurel Gallery and related ceramic businesses moving to Micaville

More on Crimson Laurel Gallery and Appalachian Terroir news

Crimson Laurel Gallery moving to Micaville

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Meeting in Asheville on affordable housing solutions for artists, craftspeople and makers

Here are the details from the Center for Craft, Creativity & Design announcement:

On March 22 from 7-8:30 pm, The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) and Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce will host a public meeting on affordable housing solutions for artists, craftspeople and makers. The meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to engage with and learn from Artspace, a national non-profit organization based in Minneapolis, MN that specializes in creating, owning and operating affordable housing and studio/business space for artists and creative sector businesses.

The public meeting is the capstone to a three-day visit that will introduce the community to the Artspace leadership team. The visit kicks-off a year-long feasibility assessment and market study to determine the viability of an appropriately sized mixed-use affordable housing development for artists and creative sector businesses. The process is being guided by a leadership group that includes Asheville Mayor Esther Manheimer and community leaders from The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, MHAworks, City of Asheville, Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, UNC Asheville, and HomeTrust Bank.

Artspace is positioned to bring together the region's creative sector, including arts organizations, artists and makers, through a community engagement process that results in actionable data for the purpose of developing affordable housing, studio space, and resources. The project represents a high impact investment that will strengthen the arts and cultural sector of the region while also promoting other types of economic development, such as talent attraction and retention.

"Artspace is at the forefront of the movement to develop affordable housing for artists and owns numerous projects around the state and country. We are thrilled to bring their expertise to the area," says Stephanie Moore, Executive Director of CCCD. "Creatives benefit when they're co-located together in spaces that are affordable and accessible. We need to support smart opportunities like this to ensure that Asheville's creative sector continues to thrive."

Artspace begins each project with a comprehensive feasibility assessment including a market study to quantify a community's creative sector, in-depth stakeholder engagement, and an analysis of potential development sites. The result is actionable data that can translate to appropriately-sized affordable mixed-use housing developments for artists and the creative sector. "If we can have more usable data about the arts and culture community, the possibility of more housing that will keep artists in Asheville, and identification of viable sites for this kind of development, that would be a win on all fronts," said Kit Cramer, President/CEO of the Asheville Chamber.

Date and Time: Wednesday, March 22, 2017, 7 - 8:30 pm
Location: The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design, 67 Broadway Street, Asheville, NC 28801
Parking: Complimentary parking is available at HomeTrust Bank, located at 10 Woodfin Street, Asheville, NC 28801 .

To learn more and RSVP for the event, visit

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Wedging table for sale in Western North Carolina


Wick Grunwell has a wedging table for sale. Here are the details:

• Wick built it 35 years ago but never used it

• The table is in Sylva, NC but Wick can bring it to Waynesville, NC if helpful

• $45.00

Contact Wick at 828-734-5588

Monday, March 13, 2017

Appalachian Terroir and Crimson Laurel Gallery signs taken down

The Appalachian Terroir and Crimson Laurel signs are now gone from the businesses’ property in Micaville. You can see the empty wooden sign framework to the right of the building in this image:

Here’s what the signs looked like (from the Crimson Laurel Gallery Facebook page):

Here’s the view of the back of the building today with dumpsters by the loading docks:

John Britt posted recently about the production pottery liquidation announcement on the Crimson Laurel website. An ad about the sale still comes up on Ray's Weather as of today:

Background on Crimson Laurel and Appalachian Terroir here:

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Asheville Citizen-Times: How does an artist afford Asheville?

top photo: Sarah Wells Rolland doing a demo at The Village Potters

Lori Theriault giving a tour of The Village Potters

The front page story in Sunday’s Asheville Citizen-Times asks, “How does an artist afford Asheville?” The writer, Hayley Benton, spoke with a number of Asheville artists, including Sarah Wells Rolland of The Village Potters, where we just held Clay Club. Here’s an excerpt:

Sitting at her wheel, hands resting on a lump of clay, Sarah Wells Rolland, owner of The Village Potters, chatted with visitors as she began spinning, pulling, crafting a vase in front of a small crowd.

"I've sold my work all over the United States, and that's what made The Village Potters possible," she said, wetting the gray-brown object on her wheel.

After she founded the local pottery company, she realized she missed the chatter and company of having other artists and visitors in her studio. So Roland decided to open it up to other resident artists and bring in visiting expert potters, "not only to learn something myself, but to make money in the process through workshops."

"The thing about artists is that we use all of the elements," Roland said, holding a torch to her newly crafted vase. "We use the earth, we use fire, water — we use everything we've got."

A couple more passages that stood out to me:

From artist Kathryn Amorastreya:

“I see Asheville as very friendly to the arts — right now,” she said. “However, I do fear that if Asheville fails to make moves to protect the arts and artisans who draw in the tourist crowds. ... (Asheville) may suffer the same fate of other gentrified cities that have gone before (it)."

Amorastreya spent eight years in Austin, Texas, and 10 years in San Francisco. And sadly, she said, "I watched the same pattern happen: The artisans who create the culture of a place make it desirable. Wealthy people move in ... and, too often, rents rise and the artists get pushed out, leaving yet another yuppy town — Anywhere, America — full of the same old corporate chains.

And from artist Stephen Louis Lange:

"There are lots of really, really, really good artists that don’t need the RAD," he reiterated. "It’s a distraction. They might have had a studio at one time, but got into galleries and realized they don't like (to work with) people peeking in the windows ... and touching their work. The RAD is an (interesting) model. You have artists creating something beautiful as well as something they can sell, and they're doing it from a studio that's cleaned up enough to where it's comfortable for people to come in to buy their pieces."


"People are curious about what an artist's life is like. (When you visit a studio), you’re walking into something that’s a cross between a church, a museum and someone’s mind. The amusement park aspect (of the River Arts District) needs to be cerebral, about what you see, how the colors make you feel. Once you start expecting me to jump through hoops, I'm done. I'm not in the entertainment business."

Read the complete article here:

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March Clay Club recap: Kazegama kiln opening at The Village Potters

Thanks to The Village Potters for hosting Clay Club! It was really cool to be there for the opening of their Kazegama kiln.

George Rolland built the kiln and told us about it. It's based on a design by Steve Davis (check out Steve’s website,, for lots of photos and info about the design, including building and firing it). George said the the kiln is a fast firing forced air gas fired kiln. In this firing, ash was introduced at cone 9 and the kiln was fired ultimately to cone 10. This was just the fifth firing of The Village Potters Kazegama kiln; George said firings have been taking about 12 hours. Check out the results in the photos!

In addition the firing, Lori Theriault talked about the Independent Study & Mentoring Program at The Village Potters. It was great to have a number of IS/M participants at Clay Club! Here’s a little about the IS/M program from The Village Potters 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.

More info here:

And Lindsey Mudge told us about The Village Potters’ Laguna Clay distributorship. If you use or are interested in trying Laguna clays, they can set you up! They’re going to be increasing their capacities - keep an eye on their website for details:

Thanks to George, Lori, Lindsey - and all The Village Potters for hosting us (on International Women’s Day - see their awesome sign below), and to everyone who came!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

I'm teaching a class

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No automatic alt text available.
IMPORTANT: In order to ensure full participation, we have decided to push back the start date by 2 weeks, to April 3rd. There are still 1 or 2 seats left, so please let me know if you are interested! 
We are pleased to announce a new class, with instructor, Tria Turrou: Discovering the clay surface
Monday evenings 6-9 pm. April 3 - May 8.
We are pleased to announce a new class, with instructor, Tria Turrou: Discovering the clay surface
Monday evenings 6-9 pm 4/3 - 5/8
In this class, we will explore the surface of the pot, and its potential. It will be an up close and personal exploration in surface decoration. This includes but is not limited to using texture as well as drawn imagery. Bring imagery that you find inspiring to you, bring your imagination, bring an acceptance to learn a new way of decorating your pottery. We will be using a low fire earthenware clay body, along with slips and underglazes, we will also be using selected glazes to add in for details. All levels are welcome. Come ready to share ideas and make pots.
Outline for class
April 3
Class starts
Project: Mugs or cups Demo
Make texture tools for later projects
April 10
Finish mug or cup project
Start to decorate pots
April 17
Project: Pails Demo
April 10
Finish Pail project
Work on decorating pails
April 24
Project: Trays
Serving trays and sm. Dishes
May 8
Finish trays and class
Costs: $120 per student, plus clay at $12 per 25 lbs. Call or text Linda Powell @ 828-284-5760 for questions or to enroll. Limited to 6 students. Located in Bunrsville NC. 

Lockerbie kick wheel for sale in Brevard, North Carolina


Here are the details from Stuart Howe in Brevard, NC:

It is a Lockerbie model K. It is super smooth and a great kick wheel, it just isn't getting enough use and am hoping to find it a better home! I am looking to sell it for $350. If folks want to get in touch or come take a look they can reach me at or 704-641-7936.

DATE CHANGED: Gendered Clay Lecture & Potluck

Due to the weather report, we are rescheduling this presentation to SUNDAY, MARCH 19 at 6:30pm

With Mac McCusker, Taylor Robenalt and Nick Moen
Come out to Odyssey Clayworks on Sunday evening and listen to three artists talk about how gender affects their lives and the work they create in the studio. Mac McCusker, Taylor Robenalt, and Nick Moen will be rehearsing the lecture that they will be presenting at NCECA in Portland, Oregon in two weeks. This will be an informal gathering among friends and colleagues. Potluck style. Your comments and feedback will be appreciated. See you there!

Date: Sunday, March 19
Time: 6:30pm
FREE and open to the public
Bring a potluck dish and/or beverage to share

Slab roller and clay mixer for sale in Waynesville, North Carolina

John Nickerson, a potter in Waynesville NC, has two items for sale:

A Bailey slab roller, 30 inches wide by 8ft 4 " long. It is brand new, never been used. 800 dollars.

A Soldner clay mixer that mixes 350 lbs of clay, has a 3 phase motor on it. It is brand new and never been used. 4 thousand dollars.

Contact John at 828-550-6748.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Clay Club on Wednesday in Asheville!

Clay Club is tomorrow at The Village Potters in Asheville!


When: 6-8 pm on Wednesday, March 8

What: Kazegama kiln opening!

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

***Mitchell/Yancey county folks - if you’re interested in carpooling, let me know.***

Directions and more details here:

See you tomorrow!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Change in dates for the North Carolina Rhododendron Festival

Here's the email from Dan Barron. Download the corrected 2017 application here:

Good morning

Please forgive my mistake. I sent the wrong application and wrong dates in my initial invitation. This year, the Arts and Crafts Fair will cover both days of the Festival 16-17. This was decided after gathering input from vendors last year and a survey of potential artists and vendors.
Please note the change on the attached application.

We invite all local & regional artists, craftspeople, food vendors, and other commercial vendors to apply for space at the 71st Annual NC Rhododendron Festival Arts and Craft Fair, held along the Creek Walk in Bakersville, North Carolina on June 16-17th, 10am to 5pm.

The NC Rhododendron Festival draws hundreds of visitors from all over the region and features the Rhododendron Festival Pageant, the Arts and Craft Fair with food vendors and live music throughout the day, a classic car show, a 10K run, 2 nights of street dancing, and the Ducky Derby.

An application is attached to this email. Also attached for food vendors is an application for Temporary Food Service that must be completed and approved by the Mitchell County Health Department before any food service can be provided. You may obtain additional applications and information at, or send a request to .

Please note that as per N.C. Gen. Stat. § 66-255, everyone who sells tangible property at a festival is required to collect and remit NC state & county sales tax, and to have and display their Sales & Use Tax Certificate of Registration at their booth. Failure to comply with this statute is a Class 1 Misdemeanor offence and the individual can be charged as such. If you don’t have a number, registration is free and can be completed online at

Feel free to forward this email to others you feel might be interested in participating. We are looking forward to the Festival and hope you will join us! If you have any questions, please email me or call me @ 828-284-1914 at your convenience.

Thank You and Best Regards,

Dan Barron

Artist & Vendor Coordinator

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Penland School of Crafts Annual Community Open House this Saturday

This is such a great event! From the Penland School of Crafts website:

The Community Open House is an annual event that opens the doors to Penland’s studios to between 350 and 500 adults and children from Mitchell County and beyond, engaging them in free, quality hands-on studio experiences. The Community Open House also offers information about Penland's upcoming workshops and other programs.

Each year, over 100 artist volunteers from the surrounding community make this day possible by helping visitors with the hands-on activities in the studios.

The 2017 Penland School of Crafts community open house is Saturday, March 4 from 1-5 PM. A range of craft activities will take place around the Penland campus, from making a clay pot on a potter's wheel to forging steel into a hook at the anvil.

The Mitchell High School Marching Band Boosters will be selling hot dog lunches in front of the Pines Dining Hall at Penland from 12:30 until 5pm as a fundraiser. The Penland Coffee House will also be open.

More info here:

Studio give-away for a student

Terry Gess shared this opportunity from the NCECA newsletter (note that the studio is located in Arizona):


Former NCECA Board member, potter, and educator of 50 years, Joe Zeller has retired from education. Life changes and challenges are forcing him out of the studio. In honor of his wonderful teachers including Don Frith and Don Pilcher at University of Illinois and Val Cushing at Alfred University, Joe contacted NCECA recently to see how he could pay it forward. He is offering a complete studio free to a student ready and aspiring to be a potter. The studio includes:

24 cu ft gas updraft (built by Joe)
Burner system
Laguna ventilation hood
20 12x24x3/4 silicon carbide shelves
CXC Brent wheel
about 60 plaster bats
~600lbs of glaze materials and oxides
2 4'x8' sturdy work tables
Ohaus Solution balance scale w/ weight set
Ware racks
Wedging table
Miscellaneous resources: spray guns, air brushes, bat rings, mold boards, etc. Complete art fair set up including 10'x10' pop up tent and display shelving

Contact Joe at if you are a student ready to take on the adventure of setting up your own studio. The lucky recipient must not list and re-sell the studio and will be responsible to pick-up the studio contents in Tucson, Arizona and move them to their own location at their own expense.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

John Britt Pottery : Cone 6 Glaze Workshop/Discussion April 29-30, 2017...

John Britt Pottery : Cone 6 Glaze Workshop/Discussion April 29-30, 2017...: John Britt Cone 6 Two day Ceramic Glaze  Workshop April 29-30, 2017 Saturday and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This is a ...

Liz Zlot Summerfield - Afternoon Workshop Cancellation

Hi Everyone,

I wanted to let everyone know that the afternoon and evening classes at ETSU were cancelled due to forecast of severe storms. Unfortunately, this means that the afternoon portion of Liz's workshop (and her lecture) have also been cancelled. She will return later in the semester to give her lecture. If you are interested in attending, I am happy to keep you posted on the timing. Just sign up for our mailing list on our FB page and I will let you know when we reschedule.

Thanks NC friends!