Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Weaverville Art Safari this weekend!

Weaverville Art Safari
Spring Studio Tour
Sat – Sun | April 29-30, 10 – 5
Preview Party: Friday, April 28, 6 – 8pm

The Weaverville Art Safari is one of the original studio tours in the Asheville Area. It is a self guided free event that offers a unique look at the artist’s work in their working environment, featuring artists who specialize in handmade pottery, glass, photography, sculpture, jewelry, furniture, painting, drawing, fiber art, wood art and more.

The Preview Party provides an opportunity to see all of the artists work together the Friday evening before the tour. There is a silent auction and raffle/door prizes of artists work as well as beer, wine and snacks.

More info on the Weaverville Art Safari website:

and Facebook page:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Submission deadline is April 30, 2017

STARworks Clay Studio is accepting resident artist applications for the June - December 2017 sessions. The resident artist program provides resources to develop new work or expand current work. Residents are provided with time and materials to push personal, professional, technical and conceptual limits. Financial compensation is available. STARworks Clay Studio is a fully equipped studio with numerous kilns, wheels and a ceramic supply store on site that manufactures local clay bodies using wild North Carolina clays.

More information, application materials and instructions can be found by clicking the links at the top of this email.

STARworks // 100 Russell Drive, Star, NC 27356 // 910.428.9001 //

Spring Art Sale (ceramics and more) at UNC Asheville April 28-29

Here’s the press release:

UNC Asheville's Department of Art and Art History will hold its annual Spring Art Sale from 4–7 p.m. on Friday, April 28, and 10 a.m.–2 p.m. on Saturday, April 29, in the S. Tucker Cooke Gallery, located on the ground floor of Owen Hall on campus. The sale is open to the public.

A wide variety of functional and decorative pottery, drawings, prints, paintings, photography, glass and sculpture crafted by UNC Asheville students will be on sale with pieces beginning at $5. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Department of Art and Art History.

For more information, visit or call 828.251.6559.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Laguna B Mix Cone 10 Casting Slip

TAKEN! Thanks!

I have an unused (although very dusty) 50 pound box of Laguna BMix casting slip (Cone 10, dry) available to anyone who would like it. Contact Pick up is in the River Arts District.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Tour d'Art in downtown Morganton on April 27th

Thanks to our April Clay Club hosts at West Union Art Studios for the heads-up about this event! The Tour d'Art in downtown Morganton runs from 5-8 pm next Thursday, April 27th.

Enjoy a creative stroll to explore downtown Morganton's fine art and craft destinations.

Participating Locations:
West Union Art Studios
Burke Arts Council
Jenluma Clayworks
Hamilton Williams Gallery & Studio
Sketch Art Space
City Hall

More info here:

and here:

Contemporary Clay: A Survey of Contemporary American Ceramics Symposium Rebroadcast

The Contemporary Clay Symposium was held at Western Carolina University in October, 2016. The live symposium rebroadcast is scheduled for Friday, April 28th. Watch online or at any of a number of host sites around the US, including Western Carolina University and UNC Asheville.

From the Western Carolina University website:

Curated by Heather Mae Erickson, Contemporary Clay, examines the evolving, expanded field of clay and ceramics. Exciting shifts throughout the field push this limitless material through new processes and concepts. This exhibition aims to show the depth and breadth of this material and its user’s ideas, ranging from, but not limited to, traditional and non-traditional functional objects, rapid prototyping, use of mixed materials in objects and installations, and unfired clay as a final material. This exhibition encourages viewers to consider the concepts, processes, and contexts of clay in contemporary art. Each artist, from emerging to established, was selected due to his or her noteworthy contribution to the field of contemporary clay and ceramics.

The live symposium rebroadcast is scheduled for Friday, April 28, 2017. Live feed and further information here:

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Professional Craft Artist Summit at Haywood Community College on April 26th

Here are the details from the Haywood Community College website:

Haywood Community College’s Small Business Center will hold a Professional Craft Artist Summit, “Crafting Your Success,” Wednesday, April 26, from 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. in the Creative Arts Building on the College campus.

Experience a one-day conference specifically designed to address needs and challenges faced by current and prospective craft artist business owners. Arts-based businesses are unique ventures and require special business planning methods. This not to miss one-day event will provide the tools needed to move your business forward. Take this opportunity to network with fellow and prospective craft artists, learn skills and the power of collaboration along the way.

Deanna Lynch, owner of Deanna Lynch Textiles, will present at the summit. According to her, “The artist summit will be a great place to gain some insight and perspective. It's always beneficial to gather new and fresh information about business growth and development as an artist. Things change quickly and you don't want to be left behind! No matter how many talks or seminars I go to, I always pick up something useful that I can implement into my business.”

Enjoy a powerful keynote session from Brad Dodson of Mud Dabbers Pottery & Crafts, who has launched a successful venture while mentoring fellow artists and diversifying their product mix to meet the ever-changing needs of the market.

Sessions will include:

• Image - Speakers, Jessy Duque, HCC Marketing and Andie Robbins, Write Simple
• Sell – Speakers, Terri Gess, HCC Professional Crafts and Carrie Keith, Twigs and Leaves Gallery
• Money –Carolina Small Business Development Fund and Deanna Lynch, Deanne Lynch Textiles
• Plan –Russ Seagle, Sequoyah Fund & Kelsey Schissel, Plays in Mud Pottery
• People –Tonya Wilson Snider, Ten Biz
• Protect – Sarah Pacifi, Sheppard Insurance and Norman Leonard, Ward & Smith

According to Lindsey Solomon, Haywood County Arts Council Director, “I find the Professional Crafts Artist Summit exciting on so many levels. As someone in arts administration, seeing partnerships develop between businesses and artists and educators is watching my field come to life – it’s about boosting business skills for those artists that are new and learning, connecting them with peer artists who have the skills they want to know, and encouraging them to tell the stories of their artistic expression. I went to school to learn how to support artists, and I’m happy the Haywood County Arts Council has the opportunity to share in the growth of this great Summit.”

There is a registration fee of $25. Registration deadline is April 24. Lunch and light snacks provided. Visit for more information or email This event is sponsored by the Small Business Center Network, HCC Foundation, Western Women’s Business Center, Haywood County Arts Council, the Sequoyah Fund and the Smoky Mountain News.

Register online here:

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western North Carolina project launched

I posted back in December about the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina awarding a grant to the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area (BRNHA) to help launch the Blue Ridge Craft Trails. The trails will be a digital updating of the “Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina” guidebooks published by Handmade in America. The project has been awarded a $90,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission and the BRNHA has released some more information about it. The press release is below. The Asheville Citizen-Times also has a story about it today.

April 12, 2017
Asheville, North Carolina

Blue Ridge National Heritage Area and Partners Blaze a New Trail for Blue Ridge Craft Artists and Collectors

The Blue Ridge National Heritage Area is blazing a new trail to boost the region’s craft industry across Western North Carolina, thanks to a $90,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission.

“Today we are pleased to launch the Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western North Carolina, a digital project that will help more visitors discover the rich heritage of crafts and connect with artisans in our mountain communities,” said Angie Chandler, executive director of the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

Appalachian Regional Commission officials see the Blue Ridge Craft Trails as a pathway to new economic opportunities across a region hard-hit by job losses in traditional manufacturing over the past decades.

“Helping Appalachia leverage its cultural and natural assets into economic opportunity is one of ARC’s key investment strategies for the Region.” said ARC Federal Co Chair Earl Gohl. “The Crafts Trail is an example of how this strategy is being put to work to create jobs and generate revenue across Western North Carolina.”

The ARC grant is matched with funds from the North Carolina Arts Council and the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, and other private gifts.

Handmade in America, first managed by Becky Anderson, created the original Craft Heritage Trails of Western North Carolina in the 1990s, connecting visitors to hundreds of craft studios, galleries, schools, historic places and inns across the mountains. The 3rd edition of the Craft Heritage Trail book featuring nearly 500 different sites was published in 2003.

The BRHNA’s Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western North Carolina will update those listings for the digital age, offering online visitors a portal for desktop and mobile applications. As phases of the project are completed, technology will allow collectors to connect with craft artisans to purchase their wares and visit their studios and to locate the many craft galleries and festivals found in Western North Carolina.

The current project is considered the planning phase and will include at least six listening sessions across the region to gather ideas and comments from artists and communities. Project partners offering in-kind meeting space and support for these sessions are the Southern Highland Craft Guild in Asheville, Penland School of Crafts and Toe River Arts Council near Spruce Pine, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual in Cherokee, Blowing Rock Arts and History Museum, Tryon Arts and Crafts, and John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown.

In addition to the listening sessions, the grant also includes funds for market research, site documentation and the development of a web portal for an initial 75 sites across the 25 county regions and a brochure. Subsequent sites will be added in future phases.

Crafts have created paychecks for mountain families over the past century. In the early 20th century, landmark institutions sprang up to preserve handicrafts passed down through generations.

“The Appalachian mountains of Western North Carolina are the center of a thriving craft artisan community that goes back to the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indian,” stated Wayne Marin, director of the North Carolina Arts Council. “Clearly, any documentation that celebrates this rich history and creates awareness about traditional and contemporary craft-making will result in economic improvements, including jobs and tourism in Western N.C.”

Professional craft artisans across the region generate $206 million annually in sales and paychecks, according to a 2008 economic impact study on the craft industry in Western North Carolina. The unique craft artworks mastered in the mountains contribute to local economies with increased tourism, the study showed. Tourists in search of handmade crafts and authentic mountain heritage spend an average of $643 a day and typically stay longer than other visitors.

Heritage tourism in the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area contributes $2.39 billion annually to the regional economy, supporting more than 30,000 jobs and generating $176.5 million annually in state and local tax revenue, according to a 2014 economic impact study.

The Blue Ridge Craft Trails project builds on the successful model of the Blue Ridge Music Trails that the BRNHA launched in 2013. With a printed guidebook from UNC Press and an online platform (, the Blue Ridge Music Trails celebrates the region’s homegrown music, and guides fans to venues and festivals across the western part of the state.

“The N.C. Arts Council has a long-standing collaboration with the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area that improves quality of life and local economies through promoting unique cultural assets like music and craft,” Martin added. “We are delighted to continue our partnership with through the development of the Blue Ridge Craft Trails.”

“Now the Blue Ridge Craft Trails of Western North Carolina will help guide visitors to discover mountain craft artists firsthand. We’re on an exciting path that promises economic growth for our mountain communities in the years to come,” Chandler said.

About the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area:

Since its enactment by Congress in 2003, the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area Partnership has awarded 154 grants totaling over $2.1 million and leveraging another $4.5 million in matching contributions from local governments and the private sector. These grants have funded projects in all 25 counties of Western North Carolina. The BRNHA Partnership is the nonprofit organization charged with preserving, interpreting, developing, and celebrating the rich and unique natural and cultural heritage in the 25-county Blue Ridge National Heritage Area.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission:
The Appalachian Regional Commission ( is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC's mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Recap: April Clay Club with Kim Ellington at West Union Art Studios in Morganton

We had a great Clay Club in Morganton! Thanks to Briana Blackwelder for organizing it; to Adam and Molly Mackay and everyone at West Union Art Studios for hosting us; and to Kim Ellington for talking with us about Catawba Valley Pottery.

West Union Art Studios is a terrific group studio in downtown Morganton. In addition to the working space for potters and ceramic artists, there is a gallery in the front of the space. Signature Day Program artists display some wonderful 2D work there. The studios’ description on their Facebook page says, “West Union Art Studios, LLC brings together artists, art culture, art education, and community to Morganton, NC and the surrounding areas,” and this is very evident from spending a little time there. West Union Art Studios will be participating in downtown Morganton’s Tour d'Art on April 27th - look for more about that on the blog soon.

Kim Ellington talked about the history and tradition of pottery in the Catawba Valley, where he moved after graduating from Haywood Community College. He got to know Burlon Craig, the last in a long line of local potters, in the 1980s. Kim helped Burlon with firing his kiln and Burlon answered Kim’s many questions about making pottery, including finding local clay, making glazes and kiln-firing. Kim recommended finding your own clay if you can and suggested asking your neighbors what they know - “you’ll end up with an interesting story if nothing else.” He brought clay samples for us to see and feel. Kim talked about the glaze Catawba Valley Pottery is known for, which is made from ash, powdered glass and clay. (A substitute for glass would be a mix of half silica, half feldspar.)

Face jugs weren’t a part of the Catawba Valley Pottery tradition. Kim told us that Burlon started making them after a customer asked for one. Burlon asked what the customer would pay for a face and the customer said five bucks. (At the time, Burlon was selling his pots for five dollars per gallon - pricing by gallon was a common way of pricing pots.) So Burlon made one. A neighbor (and former potter) saw it and asked Burlon about it. The neighbor didn’t believe anyone would pay five bucks extra for a face. Burlon bet the neighbor that he would get the extra five bucks and, when he did, he got a bonus five bucks when the neighbor payed off the bet.

I am barely scratching the surface here - Kim told a bunch of stories, including one about Shoji Hamada and Bernard Leach’s visit to Western North Carolina in the 1950s. I’m not going to write it all up here, but I will say: don’t miss a chance to hear Kim talk should you get it!

(One opportunity that's coming up soon is the Woodfire NC Conference that’s taking place this June. Kim is participating in the conference; you can read about that here: The conference will be preceded by a number of events across the state, including some in Western North Carolina - read more about that here:

Kim brought a number of Catawba Valley pots with him and encouraged all of us to touch them and handle them. He talked about how Catawba Valley pots are known for being very thinly turned and lighter than you would expect and this was definitely the case. It was really a treat getting to examine these pots.

Thanks again to Kim, Briana, Molly, Adam and everyone at West Union Art Studios - and to everyone who came!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Northern Clay Center artist opportunities

John Britt shared this information about Northern Clay Center artist opportunities. NCC is located in Minneapolis, but these opportunities are open to artists outside of Minnesota. Deadline is this Friday, April 14th.

-Four emerging artists positions, one year, firing/materials stipend, representation in newsletter/sales gallery/NCECA Expo. Here’s a little more from the NCC website:

The Emerging Artist Residency program encompasses two unique fellowships, designed to provide up to four ceramic artists with an opportunity to be in residence for one year at Northern Clay Center, where they can develop their own work, as well as exchange ideas and knowledge with other ceramic artists.

Each residency recipient will have a shared, furnished studio space with 24/7 access to NCC’s facilities from September 1, 2017, to August 31, 2018. In addition to the workspace, each fellowship includes a materials and firing stipend, and professional development and enrichment opportunities through NCC’s education, exhibitions, and sales gallery programs, for qualified and interested fellows. A group exhibition featuring work produced during the fellowship period will take place in January 2019, at Northern Clay Center, at the conclusion of the grant period. Recipients have the opportunity to present a brief image talk about their work in conjunction with the exhibition.


-Up to $4000 for the Warren MacKenzie Advancement Award. Two awards made annually. Here’s a little more from the NCC website:

The WMAA, founded in 2014, provides an opportunity for students and emerging artists to continue their ceramic research and education for a period of up to twelve consecutive months within the grant year, further expanding their professional development. This award is available to current undergraduate or graduate students, recent graduates (within one year), or those who have completed a university-equivalent training in ceramics (including apprenticeships) within the year prior to the application deadline.

During the grant year, the recipients can research a new technique or process, study with a mentor or in an apprenticeship setting, travel to other ceramic art centers or institutions for classes and workshops, collaborate with artists of other media, and travel. Proposals to fund large capital equipment purchases will not be accepted. Between one and three cash awards will be made in 2017, up to $4,000 each, for projects taking place between May 1, 2017, and April 30, 2018. Recipients contribute project updates to NCC’s social media and are required to give a public presentation at their school or other institution. See updates from past recipients at

Clay Club on Wednesday in Morganton!

Clay Club is tomorrow at West Union Art Studios in Morganton!


When: 6-8 pm on Wednesday, April 12th

What: Kim Ellington presentation on Catawba Valley Pottery

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!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Opening for a ceramic artist at the Odyssey Co-Op in Asheville

Here are the details from Anne Jerman:

The Odyssey Co-Op Gallery in Asheville has an opening for a new member. We are a group of 25 clay artists and have a wonderful gallery on Clingman Avenue. Our opening comes in May and we are accepting applications now. If you are interested in becoming a member and showing your clay work in the River Arts District contact Diana Gillispie for more information at

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Fundamentals of Glazing -The Basics (New HD Video)

Got a new video :

Shane Mickey Pottery & Showroom in Bakersville reopens with new artists on April 6th

Shane Mickey Pottery & Showroom will be open with regular hours starting this Thursday, April 6th. Shane has two new artists who are holding resident positions out at his main studio, Mac McCusker and Garrett Delooze. They will slowly come on board this summer. In addition, Galen Sedberry, Shaunna Lyons, Amy Waller and Jennifer Sigmon will be holding down the fort in the showroom. The showroom will have a larger selection of work this year so please stop by and check us out!

Shane Mickey Pottery & Showroom is located at 24 North Mitchell Avenue in Bakersville. Hours are 10-5 Thursday-Saturday (Tuesday-Saturday starting in mid-May) and 12-5 on Sundays. The showroom is closed on Mondays.

More info here:

Shane Mickey

Garrett DeLooze

Shaunna Lyons

Mac McCusker

Galen Sedberry

Amy Waller

Julie Wiggins and Po-Wen Liu opening this Saturday at In Tandem Gallery in Bakersville

Need something to do this Saturday? Love ceramics and construction?  
Like to digest good Italian snacks and wine/beer?  

Then this Saturday, April 8th from 5:00-8:00 is perfect for you!  At In Tandem Gallery in Bakersville, NC the season opening of ceramicists Julie Wiggins and Po-Wen Liu will take place.  
Doing a recent stint in Jingdezhen, China this past fall/winter, Julie and Po-Wen were able to absorb the cultural influence – the geography – and the local facilities to pursue and create unique lines of work; work we now have on display.
Julie will be giving a slide show about her experience at 6:00 in our new and expanded gallery area (we’re just finishing up a 600 sq ft addition – at least “almost finished”)
Looking forward to seeing you there!!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

April Clay Club with Kim Ellington at West Union Art Studios in Morganton on April 12th

April Clay Club will be from 6-8 pm on Wednesday, April 12th at West Union Art Studios in Morganton. Thanks to Briana Blackwelder for organizing this Clay Club meeting and to West Union Art Studios for hosting us!

Kim Ellington will do a presentation about Catawba Valley Pottery, including bringing examples for us to see and touch in person.

Here’s a little about Kim from his website:

Kim Ellington is a Catawba Valley potter known for his rich alkaline glazed, wood-fired stoneware. Ellington makes his home in the community of Vale, North Carolina, where the use of local clays, ash glaze and groundhog kilns began in the early 19th century and continues through his work today. His adaptation of and proficiency in these time-honored techniques has resulted in his pottery being represented in museums, private collections and ceramic exhibitions throughout the country.

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

West Union Art Studios is located at 113 West Union Street in Morganton. Google maps will get you there:

***Mitchell/Yancey folks - I am going and have room for carpoolers - let me know if you're interested. If Asheville or other area folks want to carpool, let me know and I will put people in touch.***

Questions? Contact Briana at You can also contact me at or at 828-467-1183.

See you next Wednesday!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Light My Fire

2 Ransom B-3 burners for sale, $200 for both. In excellent shape. Sold only as a pair. Will gift wrap in newsprint.

(Axner lists the B-3 for $169 and Axner is usually cheaper than Ward.)

Burners were used in a raku kiln, some while ago,  fired with natural gas, but orifices easily changed for propane if needed.  

Perfect for a raku or small gas kiln.

Henry Pope

Sunday, April 2, 2017

7th Annual Madison County Potters Market on April 8th

7th Annual Madison County Potters Market, Saturday, April, 8, 2017, 9AM - 4PM

Marshall High Studios, Blannahassett Island, Marshall, NC 28753

Exhibiting Potters - Becca Floyd, Becky and Steve Lloyd, Julie Covington, Barry Rhodes, Joey Sheehan, Josh Copus, Jim and Shirl Parmentier, Rob Pulleyn, Richard Hensley, Shane Mickey, Kristin Schoonover, Jennifer Mecca, Richard Gruchalla/Carrin Rosetti, Nancy Green, Shadow May, David Grant, Courtney Martin, Maggie Kocher, Mark and Huynh Mai Fitzgerald, Matt Jones, Matt Shiemann, Amelia Stamps

Free Admission